For the last two months, senior government officials and private-sector experts have paraded before Congress and described in alarming terms a silent threat: cyberattacks carried out by foreign governments. Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the F.B.I., said cyberattacks would soon replace terrorism as the agency’s No. 1 concern as foreign hackers, particularly from China, penetrate American firms’ computers and steal huge amounts of valuable data and intellectual property.
It’s not hard to imagine what happens when an American company pays for research and a Chinese firm gets the results free; it destroys our competitive edge. Shawn Henry, who retired last Friday as the executive assistant director of the F.B.I.… Seguir leyendo »
La gran paradoja del Internet actual es que la Red resulta ser cada vez menos ordenada, a pesar de que las compañías tecnológicas proclamen las virtudes del orden y del control.
Podemos tomar el caso de Facebook, donde recientemente se ha comprobado que conserva fotos cuyos usuarios pidieron que se borrasen hace tres años, mientras que un error en su sistema de seguridad convirtió en públicamente accesibles unas fotos privadas de su fundador, Mark Zuckerberg. O el de Anonymous, que continúa dando a conocer información personal sobre particulares y autoridades públicas con objeto de manifestarse políticamente o simplemente por divertirse. O el de Path, una popular red social a la que recientemente se ha descubierto cargando en sus servidores los contactos de los teléfonos móviles de sus miembros.… Seguir leyendo »
Just about the last thing the world economy needs right now is a trumped-up digital trade war over electronic data stored and processed on servers located virtually anywhere. However, unless the governments of the United States and Europe and multinational tech companies start talking soon about reconciling and simplifying international data-protection rules, some ominous storm clouds could threaten trans-Atlantic e-commerce.
Given the staggering potential of cloud computing to promote economic growth, it is well worth preventing trans-Atlantic privacy wars from bogging down and balkanizing the cloud. Policymakers and businesspeople on both sides understand the power and benefits of cloud computing for commerce, consumers and economic growth.… Seguir leyendo »
Los datos perdidos de más de 77 millones de usuarios de la PlayStation de Sony se han ido y no volverán. Como los niños perdidos en el país de nunca jamás del célebre libro de Peter Pan; pero, en esta ocasión, los que se han apoderado de los datos no han sido los piratas del capitán Garfio sino los piratas informáticos.
Es un robo preocupante dado el tipo de datos registrados, básicamente nombres, direcciones postales y de correo electrónico, fechas de cumpleaños, nombres de usuario, contraseñas y números de tarjetas de crédito. Tanto es así que Sony aconseja revisar regularmente los movimientos de las cuentas bancarias, cambiar el nombre de acceso y la contraseña y ser especialmente cauteloso cuando se reciban comunicaciones procedentes de bancos o de la misma PlayStation.… Seguir leyendo »
Last November’s NATO summit in Lisbon agreed to a new security concept that frames the way the alliance will address the full range of emerging threats to our collective peace and security.
Among the most pressing and potentially dangerous of these threats are cyberattacks. NATO leaders committed to a renewed cyberdefense policy and to taking immediate action to protect the alliance’s information systems against hostile attacks.
As the custodian of NATO’s military future, Allied Command Transformation, which I command, has a central role in developing the capabilities and supporting the doctrine that NATO will need to put in place to achieve those objectives.… Seguir leyendo »
Last year’s Stuxnet computer-worm attack on several Iranian nuclear installations may have been our collective digital Sputnik shock. It highlighted the significant security challenges we face in the digital sphere.
Yet in addition to this very public case, cyberspace is contested every single second, although these attacks do not normally get the same level of public attention.
Unlike the outer space that Sputnik reached, the Internet and the structures it rests upon are already heavily populated and utilized — by governments and companies, research institutions, public bodies and billions of citizens.
In fact, public and private life depends on functioning telecommunications and information-technology infrastructures.… Seguir leyendo »
This year, the 47th Munich Security Conference included for the first time a special session on cybersecurity. “This may be the first time,” the president of a small European noted to the high-powered assembly, more accustomed to dealing with armies and alliances than with worms and denial-of-service attacks, “but it will not be the last.”
Until now, the issue of cybersecurity has largely been the domain of computer geeks. When the Internet was created 40 years ago, this small community was like a virtual village of people who knew each other, and they designed a system with little attention to security.… Seguir leyendo »
In January 1986, Basit and Amjad Alvi, sibling programmers living near the main train station in Lahore, Pakistan, wrote a piece of code to safeguard the latest version of their heart-monitoring software from piracy. They called it Brain, and it was basically a wheel-clamp for PCs. Computers that ran their program, plus this new bit of code, would stop working after a year, though they cheerfully provided three telephone numbers, against the day. If you were a legitimate user, and could prove it, they’d unlock you.
But in the way of all emergent technologies, something entirely unintended happened. The Alvis’ wheel-clamp was soon copied by a certain stripe of computer hobbyist, who began to distribute it, concealed within various digital documents that people might be expected to want to open.… Seguir leyendo »
Stuxnet, the computer worm that last year disrupted many of the gas centrifuges central to Iran’s nuclear program, is a powerful weapon in the new age of global information warfare. A sophisticated half-megabyte of computer code apparently accomplished what a half-decade of United Nations Security Council resolutions could not.
This new form of warfare has several implications that are only now becoming apparent, and that will define the shape of what will likely become the next global arms race — albeit one measured in computer code rather than firepower.
For one thing, the Stuxnet attack highlights the ambiguous boundaries of sovereignty in cyberspace.… Seguir leyendo »
The Anonymous web protests over WikiLeaks are the internet equivalent of a mass demonstration. It’s a mistake to call them hacking (playful cleverness) or cracking (security breaking). The LOIC program that is being used by the group is prepackaged so no cleverness is needed to run it, and it does not break any computer’s security. The protesters have not tried to take control of Amazon’s website, or extract any data from MasterCard. They enter through the site’s front door, and it just can’t cope with the volume.
Calling these protests DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attacks is misleading, too. A DDoS attack is done with thousands of «zombie» computers.… Seguir leyendo »
The European Union has announced that it will overhaul its data protection rules in 2011. Later this month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Commerce Department will release their own reports on online privacy. Meanwhile, as part of the much-hyped efforts to prepare for “cyberwar,” the U.S. National Security Agency is strengthening ties with organizations like Google and its efforts to mine social networking sites like Facebook.
The dynamic is a familiar one. As usual, privacy will lose.
In recent years, the battleground of privacy has been dominated by fights over warrantless electronic surveillance in the United States and closed-circuit television( CCTV ) in Britain.… Seguir leyendo »
Congressional computers have been penetrated, probably by the Chinese. The avionics system of the F-22 fighter may be compromised. Computers of our presidential candidates were hacked into — and probably not by teenagers on a lark. Last year’s advance of Russian tanks into Georgia was accompanied by the disruption of Georgian government computer systems.
These are only public manifestations of a new reality: Attacks on computer systems will be an integral element of future conflict, and the United States is more dependent on computer networks than any other nation.
Both policymakers and the military are in the early stages of coming to grips with this threat.… Seguir leyendo »
2004: Virus Horribilis. José Emilio Cervera es economista (EL PAIS, 03/02/04).