What they mean when the government says “We do not have ‘direct’ access to your info”

Summary: Even the best journalists and national security experts have difficulty with technical stories like the recent NSA revelations. Today Marcus Ranum (bio) cuts through the government's lies, explaining the truth behind the NSA's tapping vital telephone and email communication systems. . When politicians and spokespeople choose their words with exquisite care, then it's time … Continue reading What they mean when the government says “We do not have ‘direct’ access to your info”

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About American exceptionalism – what it really means

Summary:  As an afterword to the campaign, Marcus Ranum takes a look at American Exceptionalism.  While either false or daft as a doctrine, every presidential candidate had to profess allegiance to it. . But first, let's look at the origin of the phrase "American exceptionalism": The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and … Continue reading About American exceptionalism – what it really means

Cyberwar, the Power of Nightmares

Summary: Today's post by Marcus Ranum discusses Adam Curtis' brilliant BBC documentary series "The Power of Nightmares". Cutris deconstructs the dynamic of government as protector against unknown threats. His analysis of how generalized fears of terrorism manipulate the public apply exactly to cyberwar, as well. "Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born … Continue reading Cyberwar, the Power of Nightmares

Parsing Cyberwar – Part 4: The Best Defense is A Good Defense

Summary: In this series, Marcus Ranum, walks us through the basics of cyberconflict, in its various forms: the nature of the battlefield, logistics, and dynamics. Today he looks at methods of defense. While offense gets most of the attention, most organisations play only defense. So read and learn. Contents Introduction Defense Strategies Corporate Response Counterintelligence … Continue reading Parsing Cyberwar – Part 4: The Best Defense is A Good Defense

Parsing Cyberwar, part 3: Patch #1 – Lessons from the Gauss malware

Summary: In "Parsing Cyberwar - Part 3" Marcus Ranum discussed the logistical problems implicit in cyberweapons. We now have a case-study showing how quickly a new cyberweapon technology obsoletes itself.  This, coupled with the tendency of one cyberweapons' getting burned and potentially burning others in its family tree, will to tend to keep cyberweapons in … Continue reading Parsing Cyberwar, part 3: Patch #1 – Lessons from the Gauss malware

Parsing Cyberwar – Part 3: Synergies and Interference

Summary:  As the cyberwar with Iran continues, we cheer to the news media's reporting information and misinformation about this next frontier of war.  All fodder for laughter at a future version of The Atomic Cafe.  But there are reliable sources of insight to prepare us for the big cyber-events that lie in the future, such … Continue reading Parsing Cyberwar – Part 3: Synergies and Interference

Parsing Cyberwar – Part 2: The Logistical Train

Summary: In the previous part of this series, Marcus Ranum dissected the various subtypes of cyberwar into four specializations: cybercriminals, cyberspies, cyberterrorists, and cyberwarriors, so that we could begin to compare and contrast the practical problems faced by each specialty. I paid particular attention to explaining which are strategic processes that require long-term planning and … Continue reading Parsing Cyberwar – Part 2: The Logistical Train