Saturday, April 10, 2010

Recent Cyber Attacks Provide a Surprising Insight


It has been recently revealed that a group of Chinese hackers were successful in their attempt at a massive infiltration of Indian computer systems. One of the most interesting things gleamed from the news is how joint Canadian and American teams were able to "hack the hackers" and expose the intrusions:

"By gaining access to the control servers used by the second cyber gang, the researchers observed the theft of a wide range of material, including classified documents from the Indian government and reports taken from Indian military analysts and corporations, as well as documents from agencies of the United Nations and other governments......"We snuck around behind the backs of the attackers and picked their pockets,” said Ronald J. Deibert, a political scientist who is director of the Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity research group at the Munk School. “I’ve not seen anything remotely close to the depth and the sensitivity of the documents that we’ve recovered."

This points to a hypothesis I've had on the subject for some time. Is it really true that the western nations are so woefully behind Chinese cyber-warfare capabilities? Or, could another factor be fostering the perception that when it comes to all things cyber-centric, the CHICOMS rule the roost?

My theory is that the CHICOMS are not able to operate with relative impunity in this field. Rather, the nature of their secretive society gives the impression that it is all give and no take between them and western nations. In free and open societies like America we all know when a massive DDoS attack puts the Secretary of State offline, or the president's Facebook page gets hacked. Judging from the average coverage in the global press this certainly seems to be a one-sided battle.
I personally think that this is far from the case, as the above report implies. It is much more likely that the CHICOMS are as vulnerable, (if not more so) than the west is in these matters.
While attacks against the United States, such as "Titan Rain" and the infamous "Code Red" are the stuff of cyber legend, one has to wonder how many "Code Red"'s the CHICOMS themselves have been the victim of.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FCC Gets Shot Down, Net Neutrality Withers On The Vine

FCC Gets Shot Down, Net Neutrality Withers On The Vine:

Today the FCC was handed a serious set back in its attempt to force the so-called "Net Neutrality" farce on everyone:

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC's authority to impose such "Net neutrality" obligations on broadband providers."

From the AP story here.

The idea behind net neutrality is basically this:

Right now a company, in this case Comcast, has the ability to throttle broadband on the lines they own if a particular service, in this case bit torrent, hogs all the bandwidth. This is important because bandwidth is not only limited to "X" amount split between all users on a particular line, it is also the way that the companies who own the lines make their money. So if a bandwidth hog like bit torrent is causing other essential services to slow due to the loss of bandwidth, Comcast can throttle them, (bit torrent) back a little to be able to better manage the bandwidth distribution.

Net Neutrality would force a telecom company to give a service like bit torrent equal access to broadband. The only way the telecom company could do that is to expand all their infrastructure,(at great cost, passed on to guess who?) so as to be able to provide more bandwidth overall.

Those who support Net Neutrality are overwhelmingly, (and not surprisingly) those who would benefit the most by the free ride such a regulation would provide. I.E. bit torrent, Google, etc.

Make no doubt about it, Net Neutrality would not improve your service, or make it cheaper. In fact, it would cause a massive hike in rates as companies would be forced to rapidly expand their infrastructure. Regional telecom companies who could not afford to do so would simply go out of business, thus actually reducing broadband access to millions of Americans.
Consequently, the lack of Net Neutrality does not mean that people living in the bible-belt can't access porn or that people overall will not have the kind of freedom to search for what ever they feel like online.That, I think is the misconception most pro-Net Neutrality folks have.


As made evident in this outstanding study of the effects of Net Neutrality, it is truly a solution in search of a problem.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Leftist Windbags Spew Vitriol, Hilarity Ensues...


Funny, though admittedly not surprising bit from the radio today, on my way into school:
Leftist hack Chris Matthews spewing hateful rhetoric in an attempt to criticize those who he claims spews hateful rhetoric. Specifically, Matthews takes issue with Rush Limbaugh, (Who I really think Matthews has some sort of man-crush on) for referring to the Obama Admin as a "regime". According to Matthews there is simply no place in this great democracy, (Yes, I know it's not a democracy, but that is another story...)for that kind of language and Limbaugh is a big underwater walrus or some such thing for using said language.
Now, I want the one or two other people who drop by here to take a seat and prep yourself for what comes next.....

Apparently a few minutes on google and what do we get? I mean besides a plethora of lefties referring to the former admin as a regime? Come on now, you know. Matthews himself referring to the former admin as,
get ready for it,
a "regime".

Thanks to Matthews for giving such a clear and easy to understand explanation as to why no one watches people like him anymore.

>>> In a related note, Rachel Maddow's male alter-ego, David Shuster may be getting the boot from MSNBC. Sadly, if he does get the boot, we'll miss gems like this. And what about the seven people who watch MSNBC? Oh, the humanity!

>>>If you follow cyber "stuff" like I do, you'll probably find some interest in a great piece on the current state of open warfare between the CHICOMS, numerous proxies, and the western powers.

>>>Rhetoric against "T.E.A. Party" activists has reached a fevered pitch, perhaps brought about by a recent Gallup poll showing that approximately 51% of the activists are, (shock, gasp) not republicans. They are, in fact, independents and democrats. Cue snare drum...

That is all,
Philo