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U.S. Military Seeks Skilled Hackers and Crackers 190

The Inphidel wrote, "Hackers, and maybe even crackers, the goverment wants YOU. Seems the pentagon wants to make sure enough GEEKS are on hand to kick some technological [redacted]. Sounds like fun to me." Story at Wired; another one on the same topic at Yahoo! News was submitted by Doofus.
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U.S. Military Seeks Skilled Hackers and Crackers

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  • by legoboy ( 39651 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @01:22AM (#1399362)

    It's a trap!

    X-Files enthusiasts, it is here we must make our united stand against diabolic government tricks.


  • redacted [] is a word, and can be adequately used in that context.
  • Corporate America pays higher salaries - that's the reason for the end of the cold war.
  • by tilly ( 7530 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @01:32AM (#1399365)
    Military script kiddies!

    "Dare we use our superior forces against our enemies to demonstrate how l33t we are? Is that fair?"

    "Hell if I know, r00t the bastards!"


  • Too bad I never bothered to study up on any of it.
  • I would consider it fun, and heck, I'm not even a U.S. citizen!

    Still, I find it hard to believe that they would just enlist people to hack from the continental U.S. alone. Many of the networks that would need to be hacked would be secure networks. Someone would have to go in and splice/tap lines or use something like a TEMPEST. This raises the quesion:

    How are the geeks going to gain access to the secure networks?

    I ask this because its really the closed/semi-closed networks that are of major importance (although as we know network security as a whole over the world is shoddy).

    For some strange reason I envision people parachuting onto a building at night and splicing cat-5 cable into extra nodes... (I have probably been watching too many movies.)
  • I rather doubt that the military of any oponet we might have would make any of their important computers available online, which seems to be an assumption in the Wired article. Hackers (or should I say "crackers") could do the following:
    • Break into non-military computers, like banking or sewer control, and scew things up.
    • Do website vandalism for purposes of propoganda or psychological warfare.
    • Break into the computers of banks and manufacturing companies to try to figure out how much of what weapons and stuff are being made.
    However, I don't think that these types of things are what the military is hoping for (and the third thing would be handled by the CIA, wouldn't it?) Was this idea thought up of by some brass that doesn't have knowledge in the area of hacking/cracking? Or maybe this has some other purpose?
  • Time to bunker down if the c/hackers in the US military release a program called WinNuke!

  • Let me spell it out for you. This is a bunch of military bureaucrats jockeying for publicity. Were you hoping the US military was any less spectacularly full of BS than the civilian branch of our government? What were you thinking?

    What are they going to do, spoof Saddam's homepage?

    You know, I hear that Matthew Broderick is an Ace hacker. Maybe they should get him in on this.

  • It's obvious the US government wants the best minds working for them in criptology and cyberwarfare. This is a great position to work, because these people will receive a very good pay(at least I think so!), will have at their disposition the best equipment, laboratories and information and also an entry in the curriculum who certainly will give prestige.
    But when these people suceeds in decrypting a secret code or penetrating and disrupting a foreign network who control communications and the electrical sector of a country, they are surely killing human beings as if they dropped a bomb in them. So if you think you can assume a position in the army, don't forget that you are taking a choice in my view immoral, because nothing can transform a war in a good cause(unless you believe in holy wars). If you are really a hacker with an ethical code(like RMS or ESR) then think twice before getting this job.
    Oops! I forget to post as an Anonymous Coward! Now the US government will punish me to preach against military and war... But I'm lucky to live in Brazil, Uf!!!
  • W3 4R3 The 3L333T p3nt4g0n H4X0rS!

    U H4V3 B33N 0WN3D, B1330000tCH!

  • "How are the geeks going to gain access to the secure networks?"

    Why, throught the air-conditioning ducts of course! Don't tell me you haven't seen Mission: Impossible.

  • by MartyJG ( 41978 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @01:43AM (#1399375) Homepage
    This just adds fuel to the predictions that the next world war will be fought in cyberspace.

    At the moment the term 'hackers' brings nice warm thoughts of late night tinkering on the net to geeks, and a distant, unknown, but not that menacing thought to system administrators. If the government start re-training them, aren't they going to turn into something more like guerilla soldiers?

    It would give hackers a bad name - I mean, worse than now.

    Yes, many hackers have un-tapped skills, but taking these jobs would just bring forward a new age in warfare.

    Cyberwarfare isn't like conventional warfare, where one side can simply win on bigger firepower. The net has always claimed to be a level playing field. Surely three hackers working for a third-world government (providing a decent level of resources) are as powerful as whole teams of hackers in a western-world country? It comes down to the abilities of an individual.

    What's being proposed here is getting hackers to disable the enemy's defenses. This would lead to hackers aiming to turn opponents weapons back on their own country. Think about it for a minute. The more missiles you've got ready to launch on-command, the more firecrackers you've got waiting to blow-up in your face. And who's got the biggest number of firecrackers on the planet?...

    It seems the US are setting out to hold the dog by the ears.
  • ...I am not a skilled hacker, I sit on the other side of the conflict ;-) This could be a fun job - you get to hack the coolest targets, you get the best equipment, stuff they don't even have in the commercial world I am sure, and it all has the romantic "Sneakers" feel. You'd finally find out just how many backdoors they put into Windows. All with total impunity. Sounds cool to me. Too bad that you'd never be allowed to brag about your exploit.... so that kinda kills the spirit.

  • ..or Al Gore - I bet he has a trick or two up his sleeve.

  • Seriously though, there is a useful nature to this. It can be expensive to train up technical staff to the level or /real/ hackers.And the script kiddies could be useful for taking down / DOS'ing enemy sites for propoganda purposes. The more people you have working for you the more likely there is that someone will know how to do xyz or break such and suches codes. As long as we dont see Chinas web page defaced with the slogan "w3r3 m0r3 l337 7h4n y0u - luv un(13 s@m" -that is all
  • I personally have a hard time condoning any of this. First of all, I find the ethics of xackors to be questionable to start. Xacking a system isn't necessarily always wrong, but the the majority of the typical website tagging, snooping, and trashing has no ethical ground to stand on. Claims that if it was meant to be secure, then they should have secured it are as logical as claiming you should be allowed to break into a house because the door isn't made of reinforced steel.

    But then the U.S. military wants to hire Xackors. This pushes the ethics from the realm of mischevous anarchy to malicious calculated coordinated intent: xacking for a major powerful government body for the purpose of maintaining its agenda. This is far more insideous than changing the front page of Microsoft to say "Bill Gates lick my balls". Actions taken on behave of any government's military have consequences that can easily end in the death of many people. Sure you might save lives in some cases but will you always know which actions you take will result in the preservation of like over the loss of it. Will be able to back down on a mission that you feel will result in needless death.

    We, as individuals, have to make ethical choices for ourselves. If you are a xackor then I hope you give it up for more constructive past times, but I'll settle for you not accepting a military offer.

  • Quoting from the yahoo article...
    "Those same tools would likely be a bigger threat to our systems than to those of any potential opponent,'' said Kawika Dagui of the Financial Information Protection Center, a Washington-based industry trade group. "
    Who said they won't look for flaws in our own systems too? Im sure the door would swing both ways on how we could use their skills.

  • I rather doubt that the military of any oponet we might have would make any of their important computers available online, which seems to be an assumption in the Wired article.

    So, are you assuming that a computer must be connected to the Internet for it be "hackable"?


  • Go and read up on your history, and come back when you've learned a thing or two about how espionage averted WW III during the Cuban missle crisis.


  • Where in either article does it say that the government/military is recruiting *ackers?


  • This a trap to catch all the (so called) hackers (not the real ones though, they are busy working on kernel 2.4 ).

    Once the false hacker ( or cracker or whomever) is lured into their parlour, he will be tortured and his trade secrets extracted.

    And then they will be imprisoned for life, and the DoD admins will never have to worry about network security issues again.

  • A stick or two, I think you mean.

    ...Cuz, y'know, he's, like, wooden, wants to be a real boy someday....teehee....

    Oh, man, I kill me.

  • This is a great way for uncle sam to get to know all the potential c/hackers out there.
    This is a 'big brother' check for the stupid.
  • by LL ( 20038 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @02:22AM (#1399390)
    I'd really like to know what competitive salary and benefits the Air/SpaceForce (who I believe have wrestled the prize of tech-defense from the others) will offer to attract talented people from industry. Given that the insurance and big 5 accounting firms are snatching up people with half a clue about network security would the military be competitive? Perhaps they would appeal to old fashioned patriotism (which excludes all the imported talent from India/China/etc) but essentially they are trying to convince the defense firms (who do most of the balls-busting code on real-time systems) to give up their engineers. I've heard a rumor that the national labs are chock a block full of talented programmers but its hard to see them giving up 6 figure incomes and a cushy academic style job to babysit the defense system. Better still for their talents to go into a good robust design.

    Fundamentally I would ask the fundamental question to what extent is a heavy-hardware offensive-oriented force necessary. While it's nice to had some muscle to back up world posturing, there are many other demands for public funds (education, health, legal aid, etc). The point about computers is that it reduces transaction costs and according to transaction economic theory, the key factors are price, opportunity and safeguards. With improved information (which includes laws, social habits, conventions, etc), safeguards can be reduced thus decreasing the price/cost for everyone. If CNN can identify potential conflicts and make world opinion unplatable for tin-pot dictators, perhaps there is less need for the iron fist and more for velvet diplomacy (not that I'm accusing the US of being particularly talented in this area either).

    Anyway, if people are interested in outside opinions, take a look at Cato's policy analysis [], or foreign studies [] to broaden your views on defense matters.

  • by The Dodger ( 10689 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @02:25AM (#1399391) Homepage

    So if you think you can assume a position in the army, don't forget that you are taking a choice in my view immoral, because nothing can transform a war in a good cause

    So, you're saying that killing people is immoral, thus war is immoral, and because armies wage war, joining the army is immoral.

    Now, tell me this - were NATO's actions in driving the Serbs out of Kosovo immoral? Were the Allies right when they defeated the Nazis in WWII? Should we simply disband our armed forces and live together on this world as one big happy family, embracing peace, bortherhood and friendship?

    Wake up and smell the roses, pal. The world isn't a nice place. There are nasty people out there, and to defend against them, the members of the armed forces have to be ready to do unpleasant things, while the rest of us sleep peacefully in our condos and semis.

    Did you know that modern bullets are designed, not to kill the target, but to maim him, so that the opponent is forced to allocate resources to evacuating and treating the casualty?

    Contrary to what many people think, soldiers, on the whole, don't look forward to going to war. Who wants to put themselves in a situation where other people are likely to be trying to kill them? Yet, the members of our armed forces are prepared to risk death to protect the rest of us, while people like you witter on about how they're immoral.

    A soldier's job is not to die for his country. His job is to make the other poor bastard die for his.

    Here endeth the lesson in reality.


  • Go and read up on your history, and come back when you've learned a thing or two about how espionage averted WW III during the Cuban missle crisis.

    It is specious reasoning that without espionage the Cuban missile crisis would have escalated to WW III, since we can not know what a history without espionage would be like. In additions, it is a tautology to say that espionage is good because it bailed us out of the Cuban missle crisis because espionage put us into the Cuban missle crisis (why is it that the US can have nuclear missiles in northern Canada, but the Russians can't have them in Cuba?).

    The U.S. military is a tool used to maintain the interests of the U.S. government. If you whole heartedly agree with those interests and the actions taken to preserve those interest, then you and I are on different wavelengths and might as well settle on a difference of opinion. If you do not wholy agree with the U.S. government agenda or their actions to develop the agenda, then you might see unethical nature of a position like this.

  • Also, most Corporates don't require developers to wear ultra-short hair, camouflage suit and blinking black shoes.

    Or do they? I wonder how many slashdotters are GCS d++ ...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Be damn careful. Let me tell you a story.

    Back in the 1980s, there was a guy who hacked a database language called MUMPS (multi-user, multi-person system, I think). He worked mainly on healthcare patient record systems, but he was hooked in to the general Brit programming contractors' grapevine. He had a few friends who were more in the realm of FORTRAN, scientific computing etc.

    One day, the word spread through this group of friends that the Ministry of Defence was hiring FORTRAN for big numbers. This chap seriously considered learning FORTRAN to get on the gravy train. Then a big record shop decided to use MUMPS for stock control, and he decided that would be cooler.

    By 1990, he was the only surviving member of that group of acquaintances. None of the others had died of a disease or medical condition. Two had died in a series of car accidents, despite always having been careful, even cautious drivers. One had electrocuted himself on a kettle, despite having a degree in electrical engineering. One had fallen (or jumped) from a high window. And one had just been straight out murdered by a mugger who stole £10 and left his credit card.

    Coincidences happen all the time. But this guy believes he owes his life to his mastery of that sucky database language. I personally wouldn't touch military work with a long stick

    Anonymous for obvious reasons.
  • hackers are computer experts and are the only ones who should be hired to do things like secure computers. crackers, if you watch them can show you their tricks. Next on slashdot: US hires soldiers to enlist in army.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It never fails to amaze me how slow the government is to catching on to new technology or new trends within society. They should have used these kinds of tactics long ago. I mean think of all the brain power (resources) we are letting go to waste. Its no wonder why there are so many hackers, I mean what do you do when you get bored? You usually start messing around in things that get you into trouble. All that these hackers are, are extremely intelligent individuals who have become bored with life around them. They are looking for a challenge so they start hacking at bigger and bigger targets such as the Pentagon. We need to harness this excess of brainpower and employ it in our national defence or other similar tasks. Hackers and crackers are usually not criminal at heart they just need to focus their energy into more productive activities. I applaud the US government on taking a stand in their quest for computer and security whizzes. I mean lets face it these guys are the best. If they can hack into a secure site like the US military or the Whitehouse then obviously they are the best. So why not pay them what they are worth otherwise they will use their talents in other places. Its simply a matter of harnessing our resources, and one of America's greatest resources is its highly intelligent crackers and hackers.

    Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
    NPS Internet Solutions, LLC
    "register your domain for only $55" []
  • How comes I always get the impression that those guys at the Pentagon seem to have little creativity? Everytime there's a new movie coming out showing them some nice possibilities to glantly get more control they seem to bring up some new ideas of turning that into reality. This time it's Enemy of the State, huh?
    I think what they need is a skilled, creative head or maybe department.
    Besides: I think this is just a little joke again...
  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @02:44AM (#1399399) Homepage Journal

    Turn me loose boss!

    I'm the perfect agent to bring down WINDOWS

    • World
    • Institution of
    • Nutcases and
    • Deviants to
    • Overmarket
    • Whacked
    • Systems

    Actually, I'm no super-guru or anything. You could put me in Q&A testing as the ultimate stability tester. Turn me loose on the system and see what I can fsck up. If it CAN be fscked up, I WILL find a way to do it! Usually, completely by accident.

    Oh no!


    A government job
    Sit on my butt and break things
    That's my kinda job

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!

  • couldn't help but notice that that sounds an awful like one of matt damon's monologues in good will hunting

    (where he talks about why he turns down a government crypto job)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thats the problem the average grunt is too focused on military brewhash to spend the hours upon hours in front of a computer learning the art/science of hacking and cracking. I mean lets think about it what kind of person is your average hacker? He sure isn't that stereotypical gungho GI JOE we are used to. Pyscologically the average GI is not well suited for this kind of job. Lets face it Hackers and Crackers are a specialized lot who for one usually have an IQ or 160 and two don't care a whole lot for institutionalized training such as the army/military provide. Mentally they're far beyond that, its demorallizing to them. Trust me I know. I went to boot camp myself when I enlisted in the national guard (a very stupid choice on my part) and it amazed me that some of the other recruits actually found the training "fullfilling". I found it time wasteful, redundant, and the practicality of it pretty much useless. I don't mean to put down the US military but this kind of institutionalized training and environment does not give way to thinking and actually challenging one self. I found my biggest challenge in life came when I started my own company... thats when I had to use my "smarts" to their max. Your point is a very good one. I hope what I said makes sense.

    Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
    NPS Internet Solutions, LLC
    "Get your domain name for only $55" []
  • by Zachary Kessin ( 1372 ) <> on Thursday January 06, 2000 @02:55AM (#1399403) Homepage Journal
    During WWII the Britts employed a large number of math geeks (Including Alan Turing) to decrypt the German codes. (Enigma etc). This probably won the war for the allies. It was also responsable for some of the first computers.
  • I wold consider defeting Hitler and Nazi Germany a very good and Moral cause. While war is never pleasent it is sometimes better than the altertives. Like letting tyrants kill millions of people.

    But I should also say that my Grandparents live in a building with a fair number of people who have numbers on their arm and who havent worn a short sleve shirt since 1945.
  • Will one have to submit a portfolio of previous cracking work?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    World War 2 could have been prevented by not having a World War 1. If we didn't have a WW1 than the Germans would have nothing to be upset about and there would be no Nazi's. So what I'm saying is that by the time WW2 started, it was already to late and YES a military was needed. BUT the first war was fought mainly for economic purposes, it should never have happened. Almost all wars, even most religious wars are fought over econimic disputes. It is immoral to take part in such a thing.
  • For arguments sake -- enigma was never cracked... the allies caught a sub-marine containing documents with the enigma codes....
  • I quite agree. It seems to the one of the main critrea of a professional solider to be required (or ordered) to kill, and try not to get killed in the process. However I think the real problem lies, although this is probably to much of an over simplification of the problem, that there is a very large culture difference between the hacker culture and the military organisation. For example - In the military you have the strict hierarchal structure through the chain of command. You carry out the order without question. If your superiour officer gave you an order and you were hacker then its most likely in your instinct to question it and you will try and give a better suggestion for it. It will probably take something of the dialogue. Officer - "Break into X's main electrical plant through IP node a.b.c.d" Hacker - "Actually that node is a very secure Linux box with extensive firewall protection. It would be better just dialing-up there pcAnywhere modem located beside their mainframe and gaining access that way." (I know of a bank with this type of setup and there was no security on the pcAnywhere terminal). Officer - "Are you questioning my orders? You are relieved of duty." ... So on and so forth. Unless the military are prepared to put up with our way of working and somehow cross this gap - it ain't really going to happen. The hackers will probably just get fed up it and move to work for X corp - which has the better pay package.
  • This story reminds me that one about Bill Clinton's call for crackers to stay put during the turn of the year. That sounded to me like a bait for script kids. Picture a scenario in which a lot of unimportant web pages had been defaced. The media would make a lot of noise around it, and then the government would come up with this story. All in perfect synch. Unfortunately for them, the kids were probably all well-oiled that evening. Serious hackers knew that was not the right time for cage-rattling (everyone was complaining about having to work on new year's eve, right?).

    An evidence showing that this is not 100% serious is that one of those 3 articles (there's one in CNN too) claims that millitary computers were subjected to +- 18.000 attacks last year, IIRC. That means almost 50 a day! No way, unless you consider every single port scan attempt as an attack.


  • I'm not a hacker either, but about sneakers, I AM working on a setec astronomy algorithmn for RSA, been doing it for two days now, and I'm feeling lucky
  • Oops, Sir, I have accidentally launched our enemy's nuclear warheads while trying to degrade their launch system...
  • by KarMann ( 121054 ) <karmannjro@ya h o> on Thursday January 06, 2000 @03:38AM (#1399415) Homepage
    Hmmm... with all these military articles lately, looks like these two might become regular characters:

    Private Jones: Sir, the enemy has just brought up a web server revealing the truth about the motivations for our war. Permission to prosecute?
    Sergeant Smith: Go ahead... give 'em hell!
    PJ: OK... submitting enemy URL to Slashdot now.

    Five minutes later...
    PJ: Target eliminated, sir. Total DOS.
    SS: Good work, son. There's a medal in this for you.

    Good... bad... I'm the one with the gun.
  • So it must've been language-geeks! 8D


  • It was partially decifered *sp its early :)*. Some of the keys were known, through nazi documents (ala the submarine) and some through them British efforts. Also each of the Nazi branches had their own version of enigma. The US never had the code fully known until after the war.
  • I was saying they could use script kiddie for web pages and real hackers for the good stuff. like intercepting codes. Enigma was a supurb hack in its day
  • If killing people is inherently immoral even in the defense of your country's interests, then it must be more so when it is in the interests of convenience. If the people who create and operate non-lethal systems used by the military are culpable for the people killed by the military's combat arms, then those who build or operate non-lethal civilian-operated systems must be culpable for deaths which happen as a result of the existence of those systems. Let's try the bastard civil engineers who built the interstate highway system!
  • by FirstEdition ( 79762 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @04:08AM (#1399427)
    The enigma machine was cracked by the British working in Bletchley Park (sp?) outside London. To be precise, the variant of the machine with 3 rotating tumblers and a patch board was cracked. There were other variants which were not cracked.

    This is approximately how it was done:

    1. The French obtained through espoinage in the early days of the war an instruction book of how to use the machine. After the French and British were not able to find anything in it to significantly assist their attacks on the enigma, the book eventually found its way to a Polish team of scientists.

    2. One Polish guy had an insight on a weakness which had eluded others studying it. This weakness was a combination of the enigma design and the German standard operating procedure. The team passed the work on to the British because (a) they couldn't continue in Poland, and (b) the weakness still required a lot of brute-force checking - ie. automation was required. The British had Turing et. al. working for them. (c) the German codes changed every day, so this attack had to be run on the first interceptions of the day, every day, to be able to read the rest of the day's messages.

    3. UNKNOWN TO THE ENGINEERS/MATHEMATICIANS, some code books for particular months were captured. The "management" decided to keep this info from the engineers, and to persist with the daily automated cracking as a defence against the majority of the time when they didn't have the books of keys.

    So in summary, the cracking of the enigma machine was the result of a clever mathematical insight, and operational predictability to do with the initial alignment of the tumblers. This made possible a brute force attack, which was automated with banks of electro-mechanical "computers".

  • Did the Australian government hire a bunch of
    crackers? Are they hiring crackers now? If they
    did, would we know about it? If the Australian
    government is allowed to break into computers,
    and the American military is looking for people
    with cracking skills, what are they both
    planning to do with it? Who is going to be the
    victim? To hackers, and crackers with some
    morals, I say: Don't work for big brother,
    you will not help anyone.

  • They probably just wants a list of "hackers" too stupid to understand that Pentagon wants a list of hackers to monitor. Since the really smart or dangerous ones won't "volunteer" create the list through elimination...

    The next thing you know, Pentagon, FBI and the rest will want "help" from people who can make kitchen-bombs to help in their war against Saddam Hussein...

  • They come crawling to me :).
  • From an article in Svenska Dagbladet:

    The military is launching an IT-offensive

    The defence force will in a few years have the ability to hack into those computer systems that can threaten national security. This is the orders given to the military by the Swedish government.
    - We should first be able to protect our own IT-systems, but in the future we should also be able to disrupt or disable others, say colonel Michael Moore at the defence HQ in Stockholm.

    Modern societies are dependent on and controlled by the help of computer During the growth of information technology new threats have emerged. One such threat is distant computer warfare. That means that a hostile state or group could use so called hackers and IT-soldiers to penetrate and destroy the military and civilian networks of states. Confusion, and eventually destroying the ability to rely on important systems, are the goals of offensive IT-units.

    In October a Swedish military delegation visited Pentagon. Important connections were made in Washington.
    - For several days we were given a look into the problems and possibilites in the area of information warfare. My impression is that the americans have decided to share their information and experiences in the area much more than they used to, says Ingvar Åkesson.
    As a consequence of the USA-visit, the government has decided that the military and the military university shall perform a first exercise to increase security in civilian infrastructure systems next year. During the exercise it is permitted to try to break into the two agencies computer systems. A group of experts on computer security will be hand picked from several areas of the defence.If the exercise works well, another step will be taken in 2001. The government wants the military to perform a large test as the one previously done in America.

    The "Eligible Receiver" test was performed in the summer of 1997, and it gave the Pentagon a nasty chock. 35 government computer experts were given the task of hacking into the most sensitive information systems in the US. The experts were able to crack codes to several military bases and battle ships using software freely available to anyone.


    Försvaret satsar på IT-offensiv
    Försvarsmakten ska inom några år ha förmåga att tränga in i främmande datasystem, som kan hota landets säkerhet. Det framgår av regeringens senaste uppdragsbrev till Försvarsmakten.
    - Vi ska dels kunna skydda våra egna IT-system, men också på sikt kunna störa eller slå ut andras, säger överste Michael Moore vid försvarshögkvarteret i Stockholm.
    I det så kallade regleringsbrevet till Försvarsmakten heter det:
    "Försvarsmakten skall stärka förmågan att motstå informationskrigföring samt öka informationssäkerheten inom sina IT-system. Försvarsmakten skall även utveckla sin förmåga att genomföra informationsoperationer."

    Den sista meningen leder till en ny offensiv uppgift för Försvarsmakten. Traditionella frontkrig med militära styrkor stående mot varandra får allt mindre betydelse i internationell militär planläggning. På 2000-talet handlar det mera om vad som kan utspelas i cyberrymden.
    Moderna samhällen styrs och leds med datorns hjälp. Under informationsteknologins framväxt har nya hot tagit form. Ett sådant är datakrig på distans. Det betyder att en illasinnad stat eller grupp med hjälp av så kallade hackers och IT-soldater kan tränga in och förstöra staters militära och civila ledningssystem.
    Förvirring och på sikt oförmåga att använda viktiga system, är målet för offensiva IT-förband.

    I oktober besökte en svensk militär delegation försvarshögkvarteret Pentagon.
    Gruppen leddes av Försvarsdepartementets rätts - och expeditionschef Ingvar Åkesson. I gruppen ingick bland andra FOA-chefen Bengt Anderberg, generalmajor Staffan Näsström från FMV och departementets säkerhetsexpert överste Ingvar Hellqvist.
    Viktiga dörrar öppnades i Washington.
    - I flera dagar fick vi inblick i problem och möjligheter inom området informationskrigföring. Mitt intryck är att amerikanarna bestämt sig för att i större utsträckning än tidigare dela med sig av sina erfarenheter på området, berättar Ingvar Åkesson.
    Som en konsekvens av USA-besöket har regeringen beslutat att Försvarsmakten och Försvarshögskolan nästa år ska genomföra en förberedande övning för att öka säkerheten i samhällsviktiga informationssystem.
    Under övningen ges möjlighet att försöka tränga in i de två myndigheternas datasystem. En grupp experter på dataintrång och IT-kontroll ska handplockas från flera myndigheter i totalförsvaret.
    Om övningen faller väl ut tas ytterligare ett steg år 2001. Då vill regeringen att Försvarsmakten genomför en stor dataövning efter amerikansk förebild.

    Sommaren 1997 genomfördes övningen "Eligible Receiver", som gav Pentagon näst intill skrämselhicka. 35 statliga dataspecialister fick uppgiften att tränga in i USA:s mest känsliga informationssystem. Specialisterna kunde med hjälp av vanlig civil programvara knäcka källkoder till flera militärbasers och hangarfartygs ledningssystem.

    ************************************************ ***

  • You remind me of my friend who kept saying "Social Insecurity" instead of Social Security. It was a valiant attempt to sound critical of a flawed behemoth which is a part of all our lives, but he just ended up sounding like an idiot.

    The lesson: New words and phrases are best coined unintentionally.

  • How do you come to the conclusion that 50 attacks per day is not possible. Diven the number of people on the face of the planet with access to computers, how many of those do you think might find it fun to 'hack' the US military for the fun of it. I reckon that 50 attacks per day is probavly vey easy to come by. I'm on-line for maybe 3 hours per day (the rest of the time I'm behind a corporate firewall), and I can count on at least 2 scans each day on my PC.
  • Why has this guy been moderated down? What he says here is the Truth, you moderators need to study a bit more history.
  • by Bjarke Roune ( 107212 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @04:29AM (#1399439) Homepage
    Hmm... I wonder what the government will do if it discovers a fatal security bug in a widely used application through this project?

    I mean, if they tell everybody about it, then that really does not help them in attacking anyone...

    However, if they don't tell anyone, then they have this situation:

    A) There is a fatal security problem in a widely used application.

    B) Knowing this gives them an advantage if they should at any time wish to be aggressive towards anyone else.

    C) Software is global; People all over the world tend to use the same software, nomatter where they are physically situated.

    D) If someone else knows of this problem, they will have the exact same advantage as the US army does, should this someone choose to be hostile towards american computer installations.

    E) The US army knows that since they found the bug, it's possible to find this bug.

    F) Any cracker/hacker in the world has a small chance of finding this fatal flaw; it's not a question of wheter this bug will be discovered by someone, it's a question of when.


    If all of the above is true, then by logic the below must also be true (assuming my logic is not somehow flawed, of course):

    1) The US army will be witholding information that would benefit not only America as a whole, but everyone in the world that uses this software (ok, by a small degree, but still).

    2) Keeping this information secret only gives the US army a transient advantage, as this bug will eventually be discovered by someone else.

    3) If terroists smarten up and begin cracking instead of blowing stuff up (or behaps blowing stuff up through their cracking), then if they find this bug, they will not hesitate to exploit the possibilities this opens to them.

    Imagine a terroist cracker finding a fatal flaw that works in all versions of Windows. This flaw allows him to break in and do whatever he wants to any Windows maschine.

    Now, I happen to know that atleast we have an american battleship somewhere that runs windows NT... He'd have total control of this thing for atleast a few minutes, perhaps hours if he's very lucky and skilled.

    Imagine what a terroist might like to do with such a ship... :(

    Also, he'd probably be able to access alot of confidential information, perhaps even getting access to all the other security bugs and techniques the US army never told anyone about!

    I just don't understand how people can think combat over the net can be a good thing. It leaves every country in the world very vulnerable. It opens up the possibility that one person, with enough information, acting completely on his won, can take down alot of stuff.

    A group of skilled hackers could do to a country what some people thought the Y2K bug would do to the world (ok, let's say a small country :).

    All that this requires is that they find enough security errors in programs in wide use, preferably an OS.

    Of course, this hasn't happened yet, which would seem to indicate that it will never happen.

    I don't find that argument very good, as this simply tells us that the crackers we are facing today are not really out to sabotage larger areas.

    However, alot of people really, really hate (in the strongest sense possible) the US. Imagine if all fundamentalists suddenly stopped training for physical combat, and instead began learning cracking... There are alot of fundamentalists in the world, you know... And, well, fundamentalists are not known for showing restraint when they have the ability to cause harm to things and people in the USA, or anyone else they happen not to like.

    Therefore, I really think what the US army should be consearned about is defending themselves. Security of computer installations is a matter of national security (for any country), and global stability.

    If everyone has great defences, aggression will logically be less beneficial, and it won't be as much of a problem.

    This issue will become more and more important as everyone gets more and more dependant upon technology.
  • What people should consider is this, if you aren't prepared to pick up a gun and kill the ENEMY face to face, you shouldn't be working for any organisation that will do it for you using something you made/designed/invented.
    Also, just because you can't SEE the people you are fighting doesn't mean it's OK to hurt them. The're still suffering!
  • A soldier's job is not to die for his country. His job is to make the other poor bastard die for his. Well, this phrase and its origin explains everything about your position. This sentence was written by Patton. He was one of the craziest american general in WWII. Maybe some of us don't know but after the surrender of Germany he pressed the american president to launch a nuclear and conventional attack, with the help of the surviving german troops(who hated above all the russians), against Soviet Union.

    Do you really think US has the right to intervene in a country using the excuse of "humanitarism"? Why then they don't press the russian government to stop the chechen slaughter? Why they just don't stop to sell weapons to Turkey, who uses them to destroy and supress the curdish people? Why they waited to do something about the situaition in East Timor? Oh, sorry! I forgot that Turkey is a NATO member and Serbia not! I forgot that Indonesia is an asiatic Tiger and a strategic ally of USA in the Pacific. Oh, I forgot that US wants to integrate Russia in his sphere of financial influence and has nuke weapons to pressure everyone.

    But it doesn't matter, what matters is your proud to be a nationalist and see your country dominates others, instead of helping them to develop and rise their standards of living!

  • Now the US government will punish me to preach against military and war... But I'm lucky to live in Brazil, Uf!!

    'Ve haff friends in Brazil...'

    "Rex unto my cleeb, and thou shalt have everlasting blort." - Zorp 3:16

  • That's what I'm saying: if you regard every port scan as an attack you may consider these numbers to be true. But they are as harmless as the pictures I took from the White House during a trip to D.C. .

    A dangerous attack is something else entirely, demanding planning and skills from a methodical hacker and there aren't *that* many people in the world who fit this profile. The average citizen would never tell the difference so they buy it, but you can do better than that.

    While you're talking about this, I'm behind a proxy/firewall too, so you have my sympathy :). At least they left *one* port open.


  • A "Cyberspace Virtual War CVW" will be far more humane than the bullets and bombs reality option.

    By the way Brazil has a government and military ...? Stay paranoid and safe.
  • All that these hackers are, are extremely intelligent individuals who have become bored with life around them.

    And that's why the army (including Air Force and the Navy) is exactly the wrong place for them to be. Historically, military is about taking a mass of peasants and organizing them into a somewhat controllable killing mechanism. The army organization is basically a holdover from the feudal times. Note that anybody higher in rank than you is automatically considered to be smarter, know better, and can order you to do whatever he deems necessary.

    I would bet that the army would be extremely uncomfortable with hackers, and hackers would feel completely out of place in the army.

  • Cyberwarfare isn't like conventional warfare, where one side can simply win on bigger firepower.

    Unless, of course, you regard the *ackers themselves as being the firepower; kinda like a really good *acker being the equivalent of a nuke (guaranteed destruction of the target), while "lesser" ones are more like conventional weapons (they'll probably do damage, maybe even destroy it, but your mileage will vary from target to target and *acker to *acker).

  • As an former member of SAC/STRATCOM, I can see that you don't really understand the military.

    The purpose of STRATCOM is peace. "Peace is our profession." That seems like an odd motto for a group of people who plan WWIII but there is a reason for it.

    Only if everyone understands what will really happy can WWIII be averted. Every time some fool of a general get's the idea that his country can win a nuclear war, we have to be there with enough proof to keep him from pushing the button. That's how the game is played.

    Wars happen. The reasons the US got into the gulf war and WWII we're not the best of reasons. The actions of some of our people were not the best of actions. However, to have not gotten into those wars at all would have been an even worse mistake. If good men stand by and do nothing then they really aren't good men, are they?

    Once committed, our job is to end the war, and end it soon. This means people are going to die, in droves. That's what war is. If you don't like it the put the chains on your wrists and go into slavery. If your life is so precious that you cannot bear to lose it, then the contents of your life are controled by anyone willing to take it.

    I'm not saying it's nice or it's clean, but it's necessary. We may not like the feds or the cops or the electric chair but it beats living next to Ted Bundy.

    To not recognise the reason for the military is to ignore history. We may not like it, but as protest singer Phil Oachs was fond of pointing out, "We're the cops of the world boys."

    Or did you really expect everyone to play nice and share their toys?

  • Back in the 1980s, there was a guy who hacked a database language called MUMPS (multi-user, multi-person system, I think).

    Are you sure that isn't More Urban Myth Programmer Stories?

  • around 95% of the hackers I know hate the current government and wouldn't work for the military. So the army is going to have to come up with something a little different from the traditional ads if they want to attract the script kiddies who will end up working for them:


    Do you have the mad skillz to break your enemy's NT box like a cheap toy? Can you use someone else's program to wreak havoc? Do you know how to type in 31337-5p34K? Apply today, because the U.5. R00|z, b0Y33!@#$

    Uncle Sam wants ping -s 65536


  • Why has this guy been moderated down? What he says here is the Truth

    Well, what he says is standard Slashdot fare, so maybe it does not deserve the Troll status, but Truth it definitely ain't. One, of course, is entitled to hold any opinions one likes, but this guy's views on history will not survive any serious (hell, even cursory) rational examination.

  • I'm not entirely sure I see the parallel. Your friend is attempting to make an economic commentary on the social security system, (i am assuming) implying that the securities will not be there for him when he because of the strain the baby boomers will have on it.

    The only new word/phrase I used was Xackor/xacking, which was to sidestep the hacker/cracker debate and keep people focused on the issues raised by replacing the h or cr part with the random variable x. New words and phrases are best coined out of necessecity, not random chance.

    Obviously, it didn't work this time, with people getting hung up on some new terminology that is quite well defined by context. However, through repetative use, I will eventually be able to have people respond to the content of my posts.

  • Should we simply disband our armed forces and live together on this world as one big happy family, embracing peace, bortherhood and friendship?

    Yes, that is exactly what we should all do.

    Unfortunately, as you so rightly point out, there are some very bad people in this world. It's not that we shouldn't, but that we can't.

  • The US government recruiting (and using) *ackers isn't exactly something that's new or that has been covered up.

    For example, at a recent college recruiting convention, the CIA was passing out fliers on their CITO (Clandestine Information Technology Office). The flier stated that CITO's mission was to exploit foreign information technology. They even advertise for these types of positions on their employment web site at: aeindex.htm []

  • . . .but were decried as a "hobby shop". . .and were told to research something useful, instead.

    I had attempted to set up a hackish Vulnerability Assessment Team, as a first step to developing a offensive capability, back in 1996-7. I even had people at OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) who liked the idea. But, alas, I was a peon at one of the many Beltway Bandits, and corporate leadership didn't think that this was a reputable business to go into. Instead, they wanted I.T. to concentrate on embedded MS Access applications for network use.

    Mind you, nowadays I teach network engineering to government people, and at least THEY learn to hack their own systems to reduce their own vulnerabilities. It's just irritating that years later, my team was finally vindicated. . .

  • I verily agree. Do we, the people, those who preach peace and "look but don't touch" want to end up as soldiers, not the intellectual elite, but the grunts and footmen? As mentioned above, controlling someone's electricity, making someone lose a job, those are as bad as killing them. In Genesis(Yes, I'm orthodox Jewish), incredible poverty is considered to be like death. -Thank God I live in Canada.
  • Hasn't anyone noticed that the psychology required to be a great hacker is the opposite of that required to function effectively in the military?

    The only people less suitable to the military than hackers might might be scientists, and we know the military could never do anything on a big scale with scientists.

    Ok... with that point made...

    "Now we're all son's of bitches" - Kenneth Tomkins Bainbridge to J. Robert Oppenheimer after the first atomic test.

    Do we really want hackers to join that club?

  • by RAruler ( 11862 ) on Thursday January 06, 2000 @05:18AM (#1399460) Homepage
    I can just see this now..

    W4R3Z K1DD13: 3y3 w1ll h4x0r th3 3n3my
    Army d00d: Okay, your target is the Iraq Military Command.
    W4R3Z K1DD13: 3y3 w1ll punt th3m
    Army d00d: Uhh.. they don't use AOL
    W4R3Z K1DD13 0h, 0k4y... 3y3 w1ll s3nd th3m 4 w1nd0ws v1rus
    Army d00d: they're not using windows, they're using a unix server
    W4R3Z K1DD13: 0h gn0! l3mm3 g0 f1nd 4n 3xpl0it
    Army d00d: Out! Get the hell out of here, your not a hacker... your a lame ass script kiddie

  • But is here not such a thing as a Just War? The theory of just war has been arround since Augustine of Hippo, if not before and it goes something like this.

    A war must be fought for just reasons. Self-defense is usually considered just, as are defending against crimes against humanity and other similar ends.

    Secondly, a war must be fought justly. In the modern day, this means obeying the Geneva & Hague conventions, avoiding civilian casualties, etc.

    If just war does exist -- international legal scholars have thought so since the birth of modern international law -- then it cannot be immoral in and of itself to work for the military. but if they ask you to fight unjustly, thats another story...

  • In my country, the army will pay your way through university in exchange for a few years of service. It is not a free ride, but it is financially attractive. Especially attractive to smart people who can't afford university without going heavily into dept.

  • Xacking
    where X = Cr or H
  • We all should think long and hard about starting the arms race in Cyberwarfare. The world has lived far to long under ther MAD policy in respect to nuclear bombs. Do we want to legitimize (sp) the internet as a target in war? Who has the most targets on the internet? The US, no? People in glass (digital) houses should not be the first to throw stones (Cyberwarfare). As other have pointed out, you don't need massive Goverment Military spending to conduct Cyberterrerism, any individual with the right equipment will do. LOpht claimed that any one of the group can bring down the internet in 30 minutes. Certanly not all computer genisus(sp) live and work in a Democracy and have strong moral convections that Cyberwarfare is wrong. The Military has opened a Pandora's Box by introducing cracking as a wepon of war and we are all going to be worse off because they did. Perhaps the only sane response is for the Open Source community to adapt FreeBSD's philosophy of 'security is number one' and concentrate on makeing GNU/Linux and all GPL applications as secure and crack proof as possiable.
  • Just to let you know.
  • One of the most important parts of the GNU license and open source definition is that you cannot place clauses in a license that restrict the distribution of the software to specific groups.

    Now, consider which kind software a developing nation is going to prefer. What's reliable, secure, free, and mostly unhindered by export law?

    You got it. In the not so distant future, these "cyber-soldiers" will be trying to break and subvert the very stuff we write and give away. They may even, posing as real hackers, try to sneak trojans into some software to make their jobs easier. And you certainly can't expect them to tell us about the security flaws they find.

    And if the military finds it is too hard to break the worldwide infrastructure of open source software, they may just pressure the bureaucrats into making laws that restrict its distribution. Hey, it happened to encryption, right? And supercomputers. And certain types of radio equipment.

    We should protest this sort of thing now, before it comes back to bite us on the ass.
  • Operation Desert Storm. We were fighting for the freedom of the Kuwaiti people...oh wait, Kuwait is a strict monarchy with all the oil wells in the ownership of said monarchy (who likes to seel that oil to us).
    According to some news reports (yeah, I it for what its worth), the "generic" Kuwaitis had more freedom under the Iraqi(sp?) occupation than under their own monarchy.

    But Saddam is evil...he gas bombs the dissidents in his country and we call it genocide. (which, imo it is)
    The US just fire bombs its dissidents.

    Of course the US would never carry out a mission of genocide against any group of people within its claimed borders. See Native Am.
  • This is off the original topic but I'm responding to this one post.
    Check out Cato's opinions, but be aware that Cato represents corporate-style libertarianism.
    In this [] article by the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, you'll see that Cato is funded by big oil, pharmaceutical, tobacco, and other big corporations including .... MICROSOFT!!! (check out the list in the article).
    I recommend the foreign policy sections of Z Magazine's web page [] for analysis of defense matters and to learn what ordinary people are doing for peace.
    Still, when people say that it is good to cut defense spending and stop imperialist military actions, I will agree with them, right or left.
    These conservative think-tanks get quoted all the time in the media, without mentioning who their funding comes from. One of their latest projects is to "reform" Social Security. This means to convince people that Social Security won't be there for them when they retire and that we need to be able to invest the money in the stock market instead. The major funding comes from ... surprise, surprise ... brokerage groups, who want to cash in on the increased commissions. Here [] is a great article from The Nation about this issue.
  • Well, I'm not actually American, but thanks anyway! :-) Dodger - Irish thru & thru.
  • I have to disagree, man... I was a coder in the USAF... and granted, *I* didn't do any uber-geeky kernel hacking or anything (mostly grinding COBOL), I knew a guy who could read a Honeywell mainframe core dump like it was a menu at Denny's. Hackers exist in all walks of life.

    The military bullshit was a little much to put up with at times, but it was worth it to work along side guys who have been coding for longer than I've been alive.
  • Before working for the U.S. military in any way, check out the book "Killing Hope" by William Blum. Blum worked in the State Department until the Vietnam War, when he quit in disgust.
    The corporate/wealthy establishment running the government was able to convince Americans that there was an "international communist conspiracy" to enslave the world. The USSR actually had little role in many of the countries attacked by the U.S., especially in Latin America.
    Millions have been killed for trying to organize alternatives to U.S.-dominated capitalism. The people tortured and killed include teachers, priests, nuns, folk singers, labor unionists, students, mayors, and actual communists - although many of the communists were completely unconnected with the USSR (which didn't invent communism - remember). If you don't want to read the book, read up on the histories of Greece, Indonesia, Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Brazil, the Phillipines (sp?) ... the list goes on and on.
    You can be part of all this if you help the military. At least if you like Corporate America you wouldn't have to make a tough choice, you'd still be working for them!
  • Time to bunker down if the c/hackers in the US military release a program called WinNuke!

    What, you run it, and suddenly Redmond, WA becomes a steaming pile of ashes? :-)

  • My statements "Sure you might save lives in some cases but will you always know which actions you take will result in the preservation of like over the loss of it. Will be able to back down on a mission that you feel will result in needless death." touched on this topic lightly. You can help save lives by taking lives, such as in a Just War. But even if the War is just, a particular battle may have aspects of injustice. Even if you are justified in killing to save lives, not every kill necessarily saves a life.

    There are other inherent problems to the concept of a Just War. "Just" is a matter of perspective and in most cases both sides feel Just. If an invader attacks us, are we Just in defending ourselves? Is our culture pure enough that it should survive along side others? How about Iraq's culture? Was Iraq Just in defending itself against the US in the Gulf War? I really wish I had more time to talk about this but I have a demo at 12.

    Back to the original topic, you have to ask yourself if you want to play a role in esclating a crisis to a War. My main point is that this tpye of thing should not be taken lightly. I see a lot of posts in here saying "Wow that would be a great job. I'd have so many great toys." But you have to think of these real issues before jumping into something like this and even then you have to contiue to think every day if what you are doing is right.

  • Yeah, all soldiers are mindless drones... and all officers are stubborn egomaniacs. methinks you stereotype a bit too much.

    Officers will listen to enlisted men who know what they're doing... especially in the CS field, where the officers usually have business/management degrees and the enlisted guys are the ones who do the coding, tech support, remote hardware installation, etc. It's not Dilbert in uniforms.
  • I regret my lack of knowledge and experience makes me totaly unqualified. Also, my open attitude of reality and self-directing ethics does (I believe) limit my job prospects with any military group.

    The pay and benifits packages would be poor, job satisfaction very if'ee.

    I hope they realize that a distributed (home-office with 90-120 TDY to locations maybe) group would be the best approach for a robust, reliable, suvivable option in any CVW.

    I'm interested, but unqualified.
  • What he is saying is that it is not unblelievabe that since he, joe nobody gets 2 port scans, that the government could get 50 attacks in a day. believe me, if that is all, I think they might be UNDER estimating the attacks, either that or the 1337 crackers suddenly got ethical? note that it is not saying sucessful attempts. I am sure that if I decided to try to break into the government comouters I would try until I got in, and given my utter lack of cracking skills I would have NSA on my door before I got in, but even someone who is good would take several HUNDRED attacks to hack into a totaly unfamiliar system even with Windows NT security for the first time. what this realy boils down to is 1 new attacker every couple of days, is THAT a number you can belive?
  • Sorry that you chose to post anonymously;
    the way Turing was treated by our "Mommy Dearest" country should scare off anyone with both a brain and a concience. Expect the same from the USA. Heck, it's public policy here.
  • That guy, breaking into Solaris and bombing other servers with 'his' network might be a good one to be recruited first.

    (By the way, this should be a story found on ZDNet [], but I couldn't find it).

  • TROLL ??????? Which one of you skirt wearing pencil neck geek homos moderated me down as a troll ?????? Can't you tell cutting edge bleeding edge sarcasm when you see stupid motherfucking moron. Now moderate me back up you goddam fool.

    troll...sheesh...offtopic if anything...but certainly not a fucking troll...damn pre-pubescent moderating putz.
  • I spent 6 years in the Army - and yes, much of the training is 'mind-numbing' (that's part of its purpose, actually. During certain times in a combat situation, stopping to 'think' can be very detrimental to your life and the lives of others).

    One thing that I discovered during my tour in the army, and my later time spent as a programmer, is that people are people, no matter what their walk of life is. I've met absolutely brilliant Infantry Sergeants and some pretty lackluster "Software Engineers" proclaiming themselves to be master hackers/crackers.

    Our Friend (AC) makes a claim that Hackers "Mentally they're far beyond that, its demorallizing to them". Actually, I believe it takes a certain mental and physical discipline to sit in a foxhole in subzero temperatures (I speak from firsthand knowledge) for days on end.

    Just like all Linux users are not "skript kiddies", not all soldiers are brain dead.

    Just my $.02. Your mileage may vary.
  • (why is it that the US can have nuclear missiles in northern Canada, but the Russians can't have them in Cuba?)

    Unless you have access to info that hasn't been made public, the only nuclear missiles in northern (or any other part of) Canada were Bomarcs and Genies, SAMs and AAMs respectively for shooting down bombers.

    The missiles that (in part) prompted the basing of nukes in Cuba were Jupiter IRBMs based in Turkey, which in fact the US quietly withdrew as part of the deal that settled the Cuban missile crisis. (Of course they were largely obsolete by then anyway, with the development of e.g. Titan and Polaris ICBMs).

  • Wrong. In all military operations, there are two parts: objective and implementation. The objective states what you want to do ("Crack that system"), the implementation then states the initial plan for doing so ("go in on port x.y.z.a"). However, in any case like this the specialist will make the final call on the implementation, not the C.O. So the example you used was wrong from the start. No C.O. would second-guess his specialist as long as the specialist was still going after the objective!

    The military does this because they have learned, from millennia of experience, that all plans fall apart once battle is joined. So, tell your soldiers what you want to happen, and then they can make it happen however. One of Murphy's rules of combat: "If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid." Correllary: "If it's not stupid but it doesn't work, it's stupid."

    Also, any soldier is expected to refuse any unlawful order. "Take those P.O.W.'s out and shoot them. That's an order." "With all due respect, sir, that is a violation of the rules of engagement, and I cannot accept that order." The old excuse of "I was only following orders" is not accepted in the military.

  • Background: Eight months ago I was supposed to be working in the Air Force Information Warfare Center at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio. I don't how many of you know the defense chain as it applies to cyberspace but the AFIWC runs point on all cyberwarfare operations for the United States.

    Patriotism? I have had five uncles and my grandfather all serve their country in varying wartime capacities. I do have a sense of patriotism and what my country has given me if was using some of the skills that I have learned well I was going to my darnest to help. BTW, getting a Top Secret security clearance and play with things nobody had ever seen was another perk of the job. I wasn't alone though in feeling that way. The others selected for the internships inside the AFIWC and who I talked to were some of the best and brightest America had to offer including a guy who was weened on Unix and had been working with Linux since 94 with a speciality in penetration, a genetics student, a student at Stanford who could blow the doors off coding as well as others. I'll be the first to admit setting up hardware and networks was why I was there and while not glamourous, I do my job very well.

    Unfortunantly, if you are in the military you would know this but most do not the agency in charge of background checks the DSS or Defense Security Service has been so backlogged and mismanaged over the past few years none of us who were told we were interning actually did. That's a bitter spot for me and the others but hopefully it will hold out soon. It does make me angry but given the chance I would still like to go back and have that summer at the AFIWC. I think it would have been a very unique learning experience.

    One other thing, those that have feeling hacking for the man is wrong. The world is a very ugly and dangerous place. The Chinese have been developing cyberwarfare and we still dont know the extent of their knowledge. Many small 3rd world countries are throwing a bone to cyberwarfare because its the cheapest way of bringing down the U.S.. You don't need guns or missiles you just need a direct modem link into the U.S. power grid. Their are alot of countries that hate the U.S. and would love to do damage to it especially with the anonimity afforded by electronic warfare so dont bash anyone that wants to protect your family whether it be your family dying in a car accident because the power was turned off as they were going through a light, some maniac who thinks it would be fun to grab credit card numbers from an ecommerce site and use them to finance weapons purchases or any other thing your mind can think of or might not think of will happen eventually. Winn Schwauta one of the foremost experts in the security realm has been predicting an electronic Pearl Harbor for a long time. The only questions remain are will the gun implacements on our side be ready and how much damage will someone do when there not isolated to just Hawaii.

    If you would like to read about the trials and tribulations of the DSS, you can read the following article in the archives of USA Today

    Goto the archives and use the keyword search
    security clearance and military and backlog
    Goto the 13K document on 06-03-1999 Sorry it only keeps the last search you did in memory

  • >I would bet that the army would be extremely uncomfortable with hackers, and hackers would feel completely out of place in the army.

    Actually, the military is very results oriented. That's why you hear all those bizzare stories about tying explosives to bats and such. They probably put someone in charge of the project who knows SOMETHING about hacking. He will provide the best enviroment that he can for the people under his command, within reason. (No casual fridays.) The people above him don't give a damn about how he gets results as long as it doesn't look bad on the military.

    The fact is that they asked for good hackers. Which means they have no idea how to train good hackers on their own.

    BTW, I think this this would be a great idea for anyone interested in doing security for a living. Imagine having 'Trained in computer security by the military' on your resume.

    Erik Z

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.