Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

CIA overseeing 3-day war game on Internet

Filed under
Web

The CIA is conducting a war game this week to simulate an unprecedented, Sept. 11-like electronic assault against the United States. The three-day exercise, known as "Silent Horizon," is meant to test the ability of government and industry to respond to escalating Internet disruptions over many months, according to participants.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because the CIA asked them not to disclose details of the sensitive exercise taking place in Charlottesville, Va., about two hours southwest of Washington.

The simulated attacks were carried out five years in the future by a fictional new alliance of anti-American organizations that included anti-globalization hackers. The most serious damage was expected to be inflicted in the closing hours of the war game Thursday.

The national security simulation was significant because its premise - a devastating cyberattack that affects government and parts of the economy on the scale of the 2001 suicide hijackings - contradicts assurances by U.S. counterterrorism experts that such effects from a cyberattack are highly unlikely.

"You hear less and less about the digital Pearl Harbor," said Dennis McGrath, who has helped run three similar exercises for the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College. "What people call cyberterrorism, it's just not at the top of the list."

The CIA's little-known Information Operations Center, which evaluates threats to U.S. computer systems from foreign governments, criminal organizations and hackers, was running the war game. About 75 people, mostly from the CIA, along with other current and former U.S. officials, gathered in conference rooms and pretended to react to signs of mock computer attacks.

The government remains most concerned about terrorists using explosions, radiation and biological threats. FBI Director Robert Mueller warned earlier this year that terrorists increasingly are recruiting computer scientists but said most hackers "do not have the resources or motivation to attack the U.S. critical information infrastructures."

The government's most recent intelligence assessment of future threats through the year 2020 said cyberattacks are expected but terrorists "will continue to primarily employ conventional weapons." Authorities have expressed concerns about terrorists combining physical attacks such as bombings with hacker attacks to disrupt rescue efforts, known as hybrid or "swarming" attacks.

"One of the things the intelligence community was accused of was a lack of imagination," said Dorothy Denning of the Naval Postgraduate School, an expert on Internet threats who was invited by the CIA to participate but declined. "You want to think about not just what you think may affect you but about scenarios that might seem unlikely."

An earlier cyberterrorism exercise called "Livewire" for the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies concluded there were serious questions over government's role during a cyberattack depending on who was identified as the culprit - terrorists, a foreign government or bored teenagers.

It also questioned whether the U.S. government would be able to detect the early stages of such an attack without significant help from private technology companies.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Canonical Patches Nvidia Graphics Drivers Vulnerability in All Ubuntu Releases

It's time to update your Ubuntu Linux operating system if you have a Nvidia graphics card running the Nvidia Legacy 340 or 304 binary X.Org drivers provided on the official software repositories. Read more

Long-term Embedded Linux Maintenance andd New Device From CompuLab

  • Long-term Embedded Linux Maintenance Made Easier
    The good old days when security breaches only happened to Windows folk are fading fast. Malware hackers and denial of service specialists are increasingly targeting out of date embedded Linux devices, and fixing Linux security vulnerabilities was the topic of several presentations at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) in October. One of the best attended was “Long-Term Maintenance, or How to (Mis-)Manage Embedded Systems for 10+ Years” by Pengutronix kernel hacker Jan Lübbe. After summarizing the growing security threats in embedded Linux, Lübbe laid out a plan to keep long-life devices secure and fully functional. “We need to move to newer, more stable kernels and do continuous maintenance to fix critical vulnerabilities,” said Lübbe. “We need to do the upstreaming and automate processes, and put in place a sustainable workflow. We don’t have any more excuses for leaving systems in the field with outdated software.”
  • CompuLab Has Upgraded Their Small Form Factor "IPC" Line To Kabylake
    HARDWARE -- Our friends and Linux-friendly PC vendor, CompuLab, have announced a new "IPC" line-up of their small form factor computers now with Intel Kabylake processors. In the past on Phoronix we tested CompuLab's Intense-PC (IPC) and then the IPC2 with Haswell processors, among other innovative PCs from CompuLab. Now they are rolling out the IPC3 with Intel's latest Kabylake processors.
  • Fanless mini-PC runs Linux Mint on Kaby Lake
    Compulab launched a rugged “IPC3” mini-PC that runs Linux on dual-core, 7th Gen Core i7/i5 CPUs, and also debuted three GbE-equipped FACE expansion modules. Compulab has opened pre-orders starting at $693 for the first mini-PCs we’ve seen to offer the latest, 14nm-fabricated 7th Generation Intel Core “Kaby Lake” processors. The passively cooled, 190 x 160 x 40mm IPC3 (Intense PC 3), which is available in up to industrial temperature ranges, follows two generations of similarly sized IPC2 mini-PCs. There’s the still available, 4th Gen “Haswell” based IPC2 from 2014 and the apparently discontinued 5th Gen “Broadwell” equipped IPC2 from 2015.
  • Compulab IPC3 is a tiny, fanless PC with Intel Kaby Lake CPU
    Compulab is an Israeli company that makes small, fanless computers for home or commercial use. The company’s latest mini PC aimed at enterprise/industrial usage is called the IPC3, and it has a die-cast aluminum case with built-in heat sinks for passive cooling and measures about 7.4″ x 6.3″ x 1.6″.

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Imperium Galactica II: Alliances released for Linux & SteamOS, seems native too
    Imperium Galactica II: Alliances [GOG, Steam] just released for Linux & SteamOS and it looks like it's a native version. Note: My friends at GOG sent over a copy, so big thanks to them. There's no sign of DOSBox or Wine and I had no idea this game had ever been ported to Linux. Pretty awesome really for a game like this to get a proper Linux build when it gets a new release.
  • Nearly five years after the Kickstarter, Carmageddon still isn’t on Linux despite the stretch goal being reached
    The problem here, for me, is that they later did a revamp of the title called Carmageddon: Max Damage. This was to fix some problems, boost sales again and port it to consoles. Carmageddon: Max Damage also never made it to Linux. Fun fact, they actually released a trailer where they just run over a ton of penguins, make from that what you will: Not saying this was trolling the entire Linux gaming community, but it sure felt like it after their previous trolling attempts directed at our official Twitter account.
  • Valve Rolls Out New Steam Client Stable Update with Promised Linux Changes, More
    Today Valve announced the availability of a new stable update of the Steam Client for all supported platforms, including the company's SteamOS operating system for Steam Machines, as well as GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. Bringing all the new features during the Beta stages of development, the new Steam Client update improves the interaction between the Steam runtime and your GNU/Linux distribution's libraries. This is a huge and long-anticipated milestone for the Steam Client, which, unfortunately, did not work out-of-the-box on all Linux-based operating systems.

Robolinux 8.7.1 Linux OS Is Out and It's Based on Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 "Jessie"

The developers of the Robolinux GNU/Linux distribution have announced today, January 18, 2017, the release and immediate availability of a new stable update based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" operating system series. Still offering a free installer, the Robolinux 8.7.1 "Raptor" edition is now available for download with the usual Cinnamon, MATE 3D, Xfce 3D, and LXDE flavors. It's based on the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 8.7.1 "Jessie" operating system, which means that it ships with its newest Linux 3.16 kernel and over 170 bug fixes and security patches. The GRUB bootloader and login screens have been refreshed too. Read more