Information Warfare: The High Price Of Ignoring The Basics


July 18, 2015: The United States has been forced to admit that its Internet security efforts have failed and that has allowed critics within the Department of Defense to go public with the embarrassing reasons why. The main fault lies with poor leadership and that is seen in unwillingness to ensure that basic things, like making sure all systems are patched promptly when software publishers (especially for Operating Systems) make patches available. Too many commanders let these patches accumulate because that’s an old habit in the military. Many commanders, and services (especially the air force) behave like their networks are just air force and forgetting that all Department of Defense networks are connected (except for the ones deliberately kept off the Internet). 

All this is the result of a very embarrassing recent Internet based attack. On June 25th the U.S. openly named China as the chief suspect in an April hacker attack that made off with government databases containing  personal information on nearly twenty million government employees (active and retired.) This included data collected for people applying for security clearances.

The Chinese connection appears to have been be confirmed and a few American officials responsible for protecting networks have been replaced. China has officially denied any involvement. Hackers can use the stolen information (personal data on over 20 million Americans, including digital fingerprints for some) for various types of online larceny, or espionage or both. What is particularly worrisome (and making China look even more guilty) is the fact that none of that data has shown up on the Internet black market. Aside from Internet based fraud, the other major use of that data is espionage.



Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close