The Threat of the Web in Today's age - What actions can be taken?

Kirkzzy

New Member
I was just reading an article recently and it is about a terrorist magazine that teaches individuals how to make explosives and use AK-47s. This magazine also features an image of the Sydney Opera House. So it came to my attention that in the article it only says that the Australian government (ASIO) is moving to block those sights in Australia. Now I haven't been to the site it has mentioned however I would assume like most sites it is open to a DDOS attack. (I will get back to this later - and please excuse my most probably previous and latter ignorance of the web)

I'd assume other Western countries would have similar issues as well, with critical information being distributed about them for malicious intent being under their very noses. Or not to mention the massive amounts of information that has been stolen (F-35) or accounts hacked. (Politicians, recent Gmail incident) (all believed to have originated from you know where)

My question is, why doesn't the West go on the offensive online? Like I mentioned before a lot of these sites are open to DDOS attack. I know China has a cyber division now, known as the Blue Army. So why doesn't the US or UK... or even NATO?
 

Kirkzzy

New Member
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Who says they don't?
If there was some "cyber" division, its the fact that it isn't public. Like you never see Western nations saying they will take down terrorist or terrorist supporter websites. This reassures the public, instead we are left in the blue, scared that one of our business websites might be "attacked" (although unlikely to happen outside US, US business websites are targeted by hackers.)
 

Bonza

Super Moderator
Staff member
If there was some "cyber" division, its the fact that it isn't public. Like you never see Western nations saying they will take down terrorist or terrorist supporter websites. This reassures the public, instead we are left in the blue, scared that one of our business websites might be "attacked" (although unlikely to happen outside US, US business websites are targeted by hackers.)
[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Cyber_Command"]United States Cyber Command - Wikipedia, the free [email protected]@[email protected]@/wiki/File:2010-05-14-USCYBERCOM_Logo.jpg" class="image"><img alt="2010-05-14-USCYBERCOM Logo.jpg" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3a/2010-05-14-USCYBERCOM_Logo.jpg/200px-2010-05-14-USCYBERCOM_Logo.jpg"@@[email protected]@commons/thumb/3/3a/2010-05-14-USCYBERCOM_Logo.jpg/200px-2010-05-14-USCYBERCOM_Logo.jpg[/ame]

It's just a wiki page so take it with due caution, but I thought the references quoted at the bottom might make for interesting reading for someone interested in the topic. :)
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
If there was some "cyber" division, its the fact that it isn't public. Like you never see Western nations saying they will take down terrorist or terrorist supporter websites. This reassures the public, instead we are left in the blue, scared that one of our business websites might be "attacked" (although unlikely to happen outside US, US business websites are targeted by hackers.)
Something to think about... Most industrialized nations do have intel and/or LE agencies tasked with cybercrimes/security. They tend not to be all that well-known, at least outside of the communit, partially due to their affiliations (intel agencies operate in the grey/black...) and partially due to their cases/results not usually being 'newsworthy'. Examples of when some such units get 'public' results are some of the periodic mass arrests of multi-national child pornography rings. Notice how many times the names of the cyber sections of the LE agencies are (not) mentioned despite their involvement to one degree or another.

Also, as Kato has posted, who is to say that the US, UK, NATO and others do not engage in cyberwarfare against 'jihadist' and similar websites?

Here is a general piece of advice I have for people, which I have found helps make life easier. When in doubt, play dumb. It is easier (safer too) to be informed but appear to be in a position of ignorance, than it is to be ignorant but appear to act as though one is informed.

Now, for something a bit different... <rustling sound of tin-foil hat being strapped on tight>

There could also be some merit in various intel/LE agencies 'allowing' some of the e-surgent websites to remain up and active. For one thing, where are some of these sites actually hosted? Is it possible that agencies might be monitoring the sites, and traces who visits back to addresses and/or individuals? Another consideration is just how safe/accurate are some of the instructions on creating explosive compounds, booby traps, IED's and similar? Is it possible that some of the 'recipes' might be monkey models, more apt be a dud, or injure/kill the bomb-maker? On a side note, often US LE agencies find out about lone bomb-makers when a 911 (Emergency Services -Police/Fire/Amulance) is made, for the bomb-maker. Lastly, various agencies might prefer to have some of the 'recipes' readily available long with their respective component lists, as it can make it easier to monitor purchases of certain materials. One of the recent would-be bombers in the US was uncovered because a 'watched' material was ordered, and the shipping company notified US law enforcement (FBI or BATFE, I forget which) of the suspicious purchase.

-Cheers
 

My2Cents

Active Member
My question is, why doesn't the West go on the offensive online? Like I mentioned before a lot of these sites are open to DDOS attack. I know China has a cyber division now, known as the Blue Army. So why doesn't the US or UK... or even NATO?
It is better to trace and monitor the people who access the sites. If fact it is likely that the majority of the easily accessed sites are ‘honey-traps’ set up to identify terrorist wanna-be’s. The real terrorist sites are probably behind security systems rivaling those used by pedophile sites to hide their business on the web.
 

Beatmaster

New Member
Just a matter of fact nearly every western nation has some sort of intel agency that focuses on cyber crime and terrorism and in the Netherlands its called IPD Link

Not much is known about this as they are part of the BVD (Binnenlandse Veiligheids Dienst) and the AIVD (Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst).
But they have done some great work against childporn and other "rogue" internet stuff and from the little that is known about them they seem to be on their top of their game as they also work for NATO to secure the Dutch part of the NATO networks.

Anyway its reasonable to assume that they are doing alot more then just catching childporn spreaders. Or at least have the capability to do so if they wish.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
If there was some "cyber" division, its the fact that it isn't public. Like you never see Western nations saying they will take down terrorist or terrorist supporter websites. This reassures the public, instead we are left in the blue, scared that one of our business websites might be "attacked" (although unlikely to happen outside US, US business websites are targeted by hackers.)

There are plenty of cyber-warfare units around and most have been publicly announced at one time or another.

Here is one of Australia's main agencies for this sort of thing...

CSOC - Cyber Security Operations Centre: DSD Defence Signals Directorate
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Also, as Kato has posted, who is to say that the US, UK, NATO and others do not engage in cyberwarfare against 'jihadist' and similar websites?
The NATO cyberwar unit is the "Emerging Security Challenges Division" (ESCD), created about a year ago, and - for research and training - the NATO CoE "Cooperative Cyber Defense Center" (CCD CoE) in Tallinn, Estonia.

In the UK the "Government Communications Headquarters" (GCHQ) is responsible for this kind of taskset, in the USA apart from USCYBERCOM it's the "Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare" (JFCCNW) and the "Joint Information Operations Warfare Command" (JIOWC).
In France they have ANSSI, and over here in Germany it's the "National Cyber Defense Center" (NCAZ), the "Federal IT Agency of the Bundeswehr" (IT-AmtBw) and the "Department of Information and Network Operations" of the Strategic Reconnaissance Command.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
If there was some "cyber" division, its the fact that it isn't public.
There is. In broad terms it is visible, the capabilities however are not something that are going to be expanded upon in the public space.

Outside of the aust alphabet agencies, cyberwarfare development is also one of the stong co-operative pairings that DSTO have with our allied counterparts

Australia has a strong and enduring presence at cyberwarfare conferences - the most recent being 2 weeks ago.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
There is. In broad terms it is visible, the capabilities however are not something that are going to be expanded upon in the public space.

Outside of the aust alphabet agencies, cyberwarfare development is also one of the stong co-operative pairings that DSTO have with our allied counterparts

Australia has a strong and enduring presence at cyberwarfare conferences - the most recent being 2 weeks ago.
I hear Auscert 2011 was interesting too...

:D
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I hear Auscert 2011 was interesting too...

:D
there's been a whole pile of capability thats been generated as a legacy of katrina, haiti and the qld floods, all of which will have some associated lessons learnt out of whats happened in the UK....

its a good field to be in,,,,
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
there's been a whole pile of capability thats been generated as a legacy of katrina, haiti and the qld floods, all of which will have some associated lessons learnt out of whats happened in the UK....

its a good field to be in,,,,
I've felt for a long time how arrogant we were in this Country when we see others have problems they struggle to deal with, how we so confidently assume we'd do better.

Until we have some issues and the necessary people begin to realise because of reality, just how woefuly unprepared we actually are to deal with so many things...

Some good can come out of these things at least. Prime examples in Qld are QPOL getting her first helicopter and much better C4I kit.

We are ramping up Search and Rescue capability and a whole raft of improvements in more general kit ad training opportunities are starting to coming about.

Tough times have required a re-evaluation of priorities. We are finally waking up to the fact we are not immune to disasters, whether they be natural or man-made and that lip-service and fine ideals aren't enough to deal with them...
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Some good can come out of these things at least. Prime examples in Qld are QPOL getting her first helicopter and much better C4I kit.

We are ramping up Search and Rescue capability and a whole raft of improvements in more general kit ad training opportunities are starting to coming about.
QPOL have observor status in some of what we do in C4I, it's interesting when you consider an almost complete absence by other LEA....

NSW Pol always think that they're an aussie equiv of the LAPD at the technology and innovation level, but they're woefully behind the 8 ball.

If you can wangle an exchange with the tech division of LAPD (they look at and test emergent technologies) you'll mentally be in a happy place for some time... :)
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
QPOL have observor status in some of what we do in C4I, it's interesting when you consider an almost complete absence by other LEA....

NSW Pol always think that they're an aussie equiv of the LAPD at the technology and innovation level, but they're woefully behind the 8 ball.

If you can wangle an exchange with the tech division of LAPD (they look at and test emergent technologies) you'll mentally be in a happy place for some time... :)
An exchange? Ha! We just got our request for Ironkey encrypted USB's knocked back as too expensive, we've got standard USB's and free encryption software is available out there we were told...

:rolleyes:
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
An exchange? Ha! We just got our request for Ironkey encrypted USB's knocked back as too expensive, we've got standard USB's and free encryption software is available out there we were told...

:rolleyes:
I bet it wasn't a geek who told you that, it would have been an accountant or a troglodyte.

maybe they should be asking for technical validation about how good that open source encryption really is - or try to buy keys through the feds at a cheaper rate (ironkey is a tad on the expensive side - and not cleared AFAIK for use on high systems...
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I bet it wasn't a geek who told you that, it would have been an accountant or a troglodyte.

maybe they should be asking for technical validation about how good that open source encryption really is - or try to buy keys through the feds at a cheaper rate (ironkey is a tad on the expensive side - and not cleared AFAIK for use on high systems...
It was made by someone who probably thought Ironkey meant the things were actually made out of iron...

These are the same knobs who decided that our new work laptops were going to be secure enough because Windows 7 requires a username and password and therefore there wasn't any need to even enable Bitlocker, let alone employ any real encryption...

As to the Feds, I am fairly certain it is QPS policy to studiously ignore anything that has already been acquired by the AFP...
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
As to the Feds, I am fairly certain it is QPS policy to studiously ignore anything that has already been acquired by the AFP...
the state/federal policing "disconnect" seems to be a universal theme across countries.... however its the federal advice above and beyond AFP that I wouldn't be ignoring....
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Ironkey is expensive. I would have thought they would have gone down Kingstons alternative (DT4000), its not bad. You get a decent secure usb, at a reasonable price (1/2 the price of a Ironkey) personal vault is even cheaper but its personal level of protection. Either give them secure USB's or glue up + disable every USB port.

Win 7 can be made moderately secure, turn on bitlocker (its there for god sakes turn it on!) clamp everything down, but there are so many holes that all you are doing is detering and slowing down.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Ironkey is expensive. I would have thought they would have gone down Kingstons alternative (DT4000), its not bad. You get a decent secure usb, at a reasonable price (1/2 the price of a Ironkey) personal vault is even cheaper but its personal level of protection. Either give them secure USB's or glue up + disable every USB port.
The Kingstons (not that model) are the brand thats certified for use Federally. Ironkey isn't. (despite all its advertising about compliance)
 
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