Pentagon has list of "cyber-weapons" for use in computer warfare

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17 Responses to “Pentagon has list of "cyber-weapons" for use in computer warfare”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, but what if they all have Mac’s?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure Windows Vista is on the list of cyber weapons. That thing is a trap!

  3. Forwardista says:

    They forgot to list Microsoft SharePoint!

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Microsoft SharePoint was designed by terrorists or communists or communist terrorists.

  4. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I can’t wait to see Ahmadinejad’s reaction to 2Girls1Cup.

  5. Sam125 says:

    Whoa this is pretty heavy stuff. Well, I guess it was just a matter of time.

  6. nate_freewheel says:

    Typical. Humans create a new way to express their desire for community, enlightenment, and the spread of creativity, and the government only sees weapons. Could we write anything more absurd?

  7. IL Denizen says:

    So let me get this straight… if another government hacks into US computers – that could be deemed an act of war. But if we do this, it is just… um… “gathering intelligence?”
    Gotta love the double standard…

    • Rindan says:

      So let me get this straight… if another government hacks into US computers – that could be deemed an act of war. But if we do this, it is just… um… “gathering intelligence?”
      Gotta love the double standard…

      Hacking isn’t an act of war. It just can be an act of war. So, breaking into some US computers to steal information might provoke a similar response, but it wouldn’t be an act of war any more than a couple of your spies getting caught would be. Breaking into a US computer running a nuclear power plant and causing it to melt down… probably an act of war that is going to get you the guns and bombs treatment.

      I actually and kind of happy about what the Pentagon has done here. Hacking does have the potential to be very destructive. An alleged old sk00l hack the US did against the USSR was plant bad designs for a some pipe line that resulted in the pipes destruction (though accounts vary): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_pipeline_sabotage

      These are “weapons”. They might range from more or less harmless (Goatse spam), to something much more destructive. The Stuxnet virus for instance managed to kick the Iranian nuclear program back a year or two. That was an extremely specialized virus intended to harm only a very specific piece of infrastructure. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to think up ways to leverage that kind of virus deployment that might knock down a power grid instead some secret nuclear centrifuges.

      The big advantage of classifying these as “weapons”, is that there is a clear chain of command in deploying them. Some board middle manager type now can’t deploy the “cause China’s power grid to go down” virus because he is having a bad day. He has to go through the same chain of command that it would take to authorize sending a handful of cruise missiles into China. This is a good thing.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A question.

    There is, now, a classified list of “something” that is a “cyber-weapon”. Anything that is a “cyber-weapon” is normally information by itself, rather than a physical object, and is, more often than not, based on a knowledge of a fault in something else and software to exploit that fault to breach security.

    Right? So.

    Does this mean that known exploits in common systems can now be qualified as “cyber weapons”, fall under export prevention laws and become US national secrets, so patching them, or exporting the patch, becomes illegal?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think we can all agree that it’s completely wrong for the government to have the capability to engage in cyber warfare. Only Anonymous should be allowed to do that sort of thing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What the heck is a “beacon” in this context?!?!

    “Military cyber-warriors can also, without presidential authorization, leave beacons to mark spots for later targeting by viruses, the official said.”

  11. bkad says:

    So let me get this straight… if another government hacks into US computers – that could be deemed an act of war. But if we do this, it is just… um… “gathering intelligence?”
    Gotta love the double standard..

    I believe the language in yesterday’s article is that hacking can be an act of war (not necessarily is). So I’m not sure there’s a double standard. Maybe the physical metaphor is ‘bombing your buildings’ is an act of war, but sneaking people in over the boarder take pictures of all your weapons factories and make battle plans is just business as usual. Espionage has a long history in the modern world as one of those things all countries do to all other countries. It’s almost socially acceptable. Though it isn’t so nice for specific individuals who are caught, people aren’t usually concerned, politically speaking, about British and Israeli spies in the US, or US spies in China. I suspect spies are caught all the time, and the only time we hear about it is when a politician wants to make a particular point.

  12. dross1260 says:

    Don’t point Ellen to the DARPA site. They got the maths challenge.

  13. turn_self_off says:

    It was all fun and games until Sam brought a gun to the playground…

  14. DIYer says:

    Trouble is, they’re always gearing up to fight the previous war.

    So they’ll be all goatse, when, you know, tubgirl is already soooo last decade. Our enemies will take one look and go “meh”.

  15. Wabsnasm says:

    Hilarious logo, by the way.

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