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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...r-attack-could-fell-US-within-15-minutes.html

The US must prepare itself for a full-scale cyber attack which could cause death and destruction across the country in less than 15 minutes, the former anti-terrorism Tsar to Bill Clinton and George W Bush has warned.

Richard Clarke claims that America's lack of preparation for the annexing of its computer system by terrorists could lead to an "electronic Pearl Harbor".

In his warning, Mr Clarke paints a doomsday scenario in which the problems start with the collapse of one of Pentagon's computer networks.

Soon internet service providers are in meltdown. Reports come in of large refinery fires and explosions in Philadelphia and Houston. Chemical plants malfunction, releasing lethal clouds of chlorine.

Air traffic controllers report several mid-air collisions, while subway trains crash in New York, Washington and Los Angeles. More than 150 cities are suddenly blacked out. Tens of thousands of Americans die in an attack comparable to a nuclear bomb in its devastation.

Yet it would take no more than 15 minutes and involve not a single terrorist or soldier setting foot in the United States.

The scenario is contained the pages of his book, Cyber War: The Next National Security Threat, written with Robert Knake.

And Mr Clarke has been right before.

As anti-terrorism tsar under Mr Clinton and then Mr Bush, he issued dire warnings of the need for better defences against al-Qaeda, and wrote about his futile campaign in the 2004 book Against All Enemies.

Now he argues that a similar lack of preparation could exact a tragic price.

"The biggest secret about cyber war may be that at the very same time the US prepares for offensive cyber war, it is continuing policies that make it impossible to defend effectively from cyber attack," says the book.

In part, the US has been hampered by the unforeseeable success of the internet and expansion of computerised networks, which are now used in almost every aspect of industry but have led to a hazardous degree of over-dependence.

The belief in the internet as the freewheeling, free-spirited epitome of American free speech has made government intrusion politically difficult, leaving the private sector particularly vulnerable to well-trained hackers.

Successive administrations, including President Barack Obama's, have failed to get to grips with the scale of the problem, believe Clarke and Knake, though they have kindred spirits dotted around the establishment.

The military has yet to open its new Cyber Command centre, amid disagreements about what role different agencies will play.

Meanwhile America may have invented the internet, but at least 30 nations have created offensive cyber-war capabilities, which aim to plant a variety of viruses and bugs into key utility, military and financial systems of other states.

The authors are convinced that there will at some point be a cyber-war between two nations and are concerned that such a conflict would "lower the threshold" for a war with bombs and bullets.

Ironically, the United States is currently far more vulnerable to cyberwar than Russia or China, or even North Korea, because those countries have not only concentrated on their cyber defences but are less reliant on the internet.

"We must have the ability to turn off our connection to the internet and still be able to continue to operate," Mr Knake, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the Daily Telegraph. "Relying on a system as precarious as the internet is a big mistake.

"It is a fundamentally insecure ecosystem that is ripe for conflict and gives countries with disadvantages in conventional weapons an asymmetrical advantage." Britain, as a nanny state more tolerant of government interference, is far better prepared than its giant ally across the Atlantic.

The US has already experienced two major cyber warning shots. Hackers from Russia or China or both successfully planted software in the US electricity grid that left behind software that could be used to sabotage the system at a later date.

The North Koreans may not be able to feed their people but in 2009 they succeeded in bringing down the servers of the Department of Homeland Security, the US Treasury and several other government departments, along with regular internet providers, by flooding them with requests for data.

Most dramatically, it saturated the internet connections of a Pentagon server that the military would rely for logistical communications in an armed conflict.

"We need to rethink the premise that just because this took place with bits and bytes it wasn't a dangerous and destabilising action," said Mr Knake, who said they wrote the book "to start a conversation".
 

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Information is Ammunition
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Now, will the government step up to the plate and do anything?

نuمبعر= , : پاسخ نه , منفي , مخالف , خير , ابدا. (no, in Farsi)
If they do, most likely it'll be in the form of a false flag op meant to confuse and scare people.

Say, make the stock market crash a thousand points in twenty minutes then exercise authority in negating trades to prop the economy up bon a bed of toothpicks.
 

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An attack on that scale is unlikely. Too many of the systems mentioned are not dependent enough on a larger network. Too many red flags would be raised too early for anything large-scale to be pulled off by anyone other than China. Even then, I don't think China could gain access to that many systems at once. As for the chemical plants, nuclear power stations and the like, I'd like to see even a proof-of-concept example that any of these could be made to malfunction solely from input from outside their intranet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
An attack on that scale is unlikely. Too many of the systems mentioned are not dependent enough on a larger network. Too many red flags would be raised too early for anything large-scale to be pulled off by anyone other than China. Even then, I don't think China could gain access to that many systems at once. As for the chemical plants, nuclear power stations and the like, I'd like to see even a proof-of-concept example that any of these could be made to malfunction solely from input from outside their intranet.
I'm not saying that you are possibly making a valid point, but do you have some sort of expertise on this that Richard Clark does not?
 

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Spunky Curmudgeon
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Well, he discredits himself when he says that there would be several mid-air collisions. As a former ATC, I can tell you that is as unlikely as a meteor strike on the same day that a hurricane levels your house. There is equipment on the planes that prevent that type of proximity.

My general opinion is that if someone screws up the part I do know, how can I trust the rest?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, he discredits himself when he says that there would be several mid-air collisions. As a former ATC, I can tell you that is as unlikely as a meteor strike on the same day that a hurricane levels your house. There is equipment on the planes that prevent that type of proximity.

My general opinion is that if someone screws up the part I do know, how can I trust the rest?
Are you saying that you cannot envision aircraft crashing into each other at major airports, while attempting to land or take off, or military aircraft during refueling?

I think the man deserves a little more credit than that.
 

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The military has yet to open its new Cyber Command centre, amid disagreements about what role different agencies will play.

When will they all grow a pair and start defending this country?

The military really would like to, but the political hacks have literally no intention of doing anything that upsets their voter base... and that also involves great amounts of money... and for the most part those that were good political folks got swallowed up and crapped out... and now they also are part of that.... "what is in it for me" crowd,,,
 

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An attack on that scale is unlikely. Too many of the systems mentioned are not dependent enough on a larger network. Too many red flags would be raised too early for anything large-scale to be pulled off by anyone other than China. Even then, I don't think China could gain access to that many systems at once. As for the chemical plants, nuclear power stations and the like, I'd like to see even a proof-of-concept example that any of these could be made to malfunction solely from input from outside their intranet.

really???? To what source is the systems all connected to? The vast majority anyways...

Then how about virus barriers and such... every day there is a new virus, and updates needed damn near daily... so in that context, what if and how do you know the virus is not already there and planted within the system at Langley, NSA HQ, Pentagon, a dozen power plants, 175 different dams, a million or so cities that all depend upon different asects of communications, then there is the issue of a flase signal that would show the planes to be taking off or landing and it is not actually there... real good mess isn't it..???

And we have not even gotten into the strong military applications... and they are very vulnerable ...and that is a fact...

Believe me, I was in the Army and stationed at the Pentagon back in 1999 and we got stung once real hard... and it shut us down for one full day..... now think about how far technology has come since then...and that has only been 11 years...

And you damn sure cannot tell me that some little chinese dude or a N. Korean or even the guy just down the street that every one calls the Geek or the whiz kid with computers... is not working on this very thing...

If you computer is attached to the system... you damn sure are vulnerable, because if you are like me...you gather information from all over the world... and that makes you vulnerable... very vulnerable...
 

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I'm not saying that you are possibly making a valid point, but do you have some sort of expertise on this that Richard Clark does not?
Do you not investigate these things for yourself or even try to apply some rudimentary logic yourself? "Gosh, Richard Clark must have some learnin'!"...is that your rationale? I notice you didn't try to tighten up Clark's argument or address any of the doubts I have as to the plausibility of his assertions.

Anyway, I'm unaware of Richard Clark's particular expertise. Since he was a figurehead under W, I imagine he might have as much expertise as the former commissioner of some Arabian horse association that W made FEMA director, but I could be wrong.

As for myself, I know that networks have to be accessible in order for them to be hacked. I know that there is no magic key that gets you into all different types of computer systems simultaneously without detection. The mid-air collision stuff sounds equally suspect.

really???? To what source is the systems all connected to? The vast majority anyways...

Then how about virus barriers and such... every day there is a new virus, and updates needed damn near daily... so in that context, what if and how do you know the virus is not already there and planted within the system at Langley, NSA HQ, Pentagon, a dozen power plants, 175 different dams, a million or so cities that all depend upon different asects of communications, then there is the issue of a flase signal that would show the planes to be taking off or landing and it is not actually there... real good mess isn't it..???

And we have not even gotten into the strong military applications... and they are very vulnerable ...and that is a fact...

Believe me, I was in the Army and stationed at the Pentagon back in 1999 and we got stung once real hard... and it shut us down for one full day..... now think about how far technology has come since then...and that has only been 11 years...

And you damn sure cannot tell me that some little chinese dude or a N. Korean or even the guy just down the street that every one calls the Geek or the whiz kid with computers... is not working on this very thing...

If you computer is attached to the system... you damn sure are vulnerable, because if you are like me...you gather information from all over the world... and that makes you vulnerable... very vulnerable...
Systems aren't as integrated as people might think. I noticed that there were very few ICBMs launched the day that you "got stung once real hard". I've noticed that nobody has cited specific examples where certain power plant designs have mechanical actuators that insert and extract the plutonium or uranium rods that are also connected to the plants outfacing network. I've noticed there are no specific risk assessments.
 

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Information is Ammunition
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so tell us, what are YOUR credentials? oh DO go on...

 

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Do you not investigate these things for yourself or even try to apply some rudimentary logic yourself? "Gosh, Richard Clark must have some learnin'!"...is that your rationale? I notice you didn't try to tighten up Clark's argument or address any of the doubts I have as to the plausibility of his assertions.

Anyway, I'm unaware of Richard Clark's particular expertise. Since he was a figurehead under W, I imagine he might have as much expertise as the former commissioner of some Arabian horse association that W made FEMA director, but I could be wrong.

As for myself, I know that networks have to be accessible in order for them to be hacked. I know that there is no magic key that gets you into all different types of computer systems simultaneously without detection. The mid-air collision stuff sounds equally suspect.



Systems aren't as integrated as people might think. I noticed that there were very few ICBMs launched the day that you "got stung once real hard". I've noticed that nobody has cited specific examples where certain power plant designs have mechanical actuators that insert and extract the plutonium or uranium rods that are also connected to the plants outfacing network. I've noticed there are no specific risk assessments.

well, obviously you read more on line than in major papers and have little clearances... but there were things that happened that I am sure that you with your overall genius and psychic abilities would know more than clark...Now granted I do not like clark and never have (but that is a personal issue) but he is one hell of a great deal smarter than you think...

and the systems are a great deal more integrated than one thinks... especially you...

Now you show me the name of the system for the NORAD system if you are so bright.... you do that and i know you are a federal guy...or you are higher rank military ops... there is your test:D:
 

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Spunky Curmudgeon
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Are you saying that you cannot envision aircraft crashing into each other at major airports, while attempting to land or take off, or military aircraft during refueling?

I think the man deserves a little more credit than that.
Let me provide my credentials. 16.5 year Air Traffic Controller at the Indianapolis EnRoute Air Traffic Control Center. Complete familiarization with the TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) that is on aircraft. I once wrote a paper about it, and gave a lecture at IUPUI Indianapolis. Traffic patterns at airports aren't controlled by computers on the ground, nor in the local sky. They are controlled by controllers, and human minds can't be hacked from China. Nor can China hack military aircraft during refueling, they assume something called MARSA (Military assumed responsibility for separation of aircraft) which is controlled at the refueling point by the aircraft involved. Since those aircraft aren't network dependent, they will be unaffected.

Wanting someone to be right doesn't make it so. I can't speak to all the other issues, but regarding aircraft disasters this man is wrong. That, for me, calls into question the rest of his assessment.

Should I give him credit beyond my years of Air Traffic Control experience? Shall he change the reality I lived? I don't think so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Me, an expert.
No, I just slept at a Super 8 last night.

For God's sake people, Richard Clark was telling Bush/Cheney the sky was falling (a la Bin Laden) before 9/11. Too bad that nobody listened to him.

I have read some of his work and I find him credible.
if you don't, that's your take. Let's agree to disagree.
But as some here can't live without conflict on these posts, continue on.
 

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Let me provide my credentials. 16.5 year Air Traffic Controller at the Indianapolis EnRoute Air Traffic Control Center. Complete familiarization with the TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) that is on aircraft. I once wrote a paper about it, and gave a lecture at IUPUI Indianapolis. Traffic patterns at airports aren't controlled by computers on the ground, nor in the local sky. They are controlled by controllers, and human minds can't be hacked from China. Nor can China hack military aircraft during refueling, they assume something called MARSA (Military assumed responsibility for separation of aircraft) which is controlled at the refueling point by the aircraft involved. Since those aircraft aren't network dependent, they will be unaffected.

Wanting someone to be right doesn't make it so. I can't speak to all the other issues, but regarding aircraft disasters this man is wrong. That, for me, calls into question the rest of his assessment.

Should I give him credit beyond my years of Air Traffic Control experience? Shall he change the reality I lived? I don't think so.

I know TCAS has worked a lot of the bugs out of it since its inception in the 50's but it is not infallable...

Now is not TCAS capable of being able transmit GPS coordinates and altitude via Mode-S datalink???
granted that solves a great deal of problems but it also is not infallable...

And there have been quite a few near misses where the TCAS issued a false RA's.... correct?

If your TCAS issues a RA, Air Traffic Control has already failed.
Most enroute radars have update rates between 6 and 10 seconds... correct???

Now did not NASA have an issue with this system and its overall effectvness back in something like 2006... From what i understand there were false TCAS alerts reported to ASRS... but those could have been a collapse or suppression of the BUS... is that possible..???

So if the computer systems collapse and have in the past then the issue of the computer systems can be circumvented.....correct???

remember the more comlicated the system is the easier it is to pull the plug on it...
 

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Spunky Curmudgeon
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Fairly knowledgeable stuff on your part. TCAS is not, however, dependent on internet connectivity and therefore will not be hackable in a way that will bring the nation to its knees in 15 minutes. There have been a few TCAS errors that resulted in close calls, but those had nothing to do with hackers. Considering there are thousands and thousands of flights a day, it has a pretty good record. It wasn't really used until the 1990s, and now TCAS II is in place.

TCAS can issue RAs sometimes despite the ATC issuing a proper clearance. An example is that normally 5 miles of lateral separation is required between airplanes, but you can have less if the airplanes have passed, tail to tail, which can set it off in very rare circumstances. So no, it's not always a failure of ATC, but I've seen it when it is. Considering that most ATCs have made less than a handful of errors in their entire career, they do pretty well in my opinion.

I am not familiar with the update rate, it was not relevant to the data on my scope. There is no 'sweep' per se, just blips that move relative to each other and ATC boundaries.

I was also not required to follow NASA updates on the issue, so am unfamiliar with that information. I have been out of the field 3 years, so I probably wouldn't have the latest data if I had been required to follow it.

Let me point out that there have been power failures and computer failures at many ATC facilities due to human error and natural events. In all these cases, TCAS has been extremely useful in saving the lives of the flying public. I personally have been involved with such a power failure in the late 1990's at IND center on a very pleasant Christmas Eve. If ATC went down due to hackers, TCAS and the pilots following preset procedures for loss of contact with ATC would keep planes safe.



I know TCAS has worked a lot of the bugs out of it since its inception in the 50's but it is not infallable...

Now is not TCAS capable of being able transmit GPS coordinates and altitude via Mode-S datalink???
granted that solves a great deal of problems but it also is not infallable...

And there have been quite a few near misses where the TCAS issued a false RA's.... correct?

If your TCAS issues a RA, Air Traffic Control has already failed.
Most enroute radars have update rates between 6 and 10 seconds... correct???

Now did not NASA have an issue with this system and its overall effectvness back in something like 2006... From what i understand there were false TCAS alerts reported to ASRS... but those could have been a collapse or suppression of the BUS... is that possible..???

So if the computer systems collapse and have in the past then the issue of the computer systems can be circumvented.....correct???

remember the more comlicated the system is the easier it is to pull the plug on it...
 
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