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Posts Tagged ‘ethical hacking’

There is bizarre juxtaposition of stories on the Guardian website this evening.

The third story on the home page is about James Harding’s evidence at the Leveson inquiry, and about the shame brought upon the Times by evidence of the paper’s involvement in email hacking:

Times hacking ‘withheld from court’

Editor James Harding apologises at Leveson inquiry for hacking of email that led to naming of police blogger.

And directly above it, 8mm away, is a piece about Russian politics that revels in its exclusive access to private emails allegedly hacked by a group calling itself the Russian arm of Anonymous:

‘Dirty tricks’ of pro-Putin group

Exclusive: Hacked emails show youth group paid bloggers to praise prime minister, opponents claim.
I’m not assuming that the Guardian was involved in the Russian hacking. But is no-one at the paper thinking about how these two stories relate?

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I met someone recently who is involved in ‘ethical hacking’, where a company pays another company to test its cyber defences by attempting to hack into the system and expose its vulnerabilities. We have heard so many stories recently about hacking and how fragile the security systems are of some of the biggest and most trusted online companies.

This report from the BBC describes what the US government is doing to create a ‘scale model’ of the internet to carry out cyber war games:

Several organisations, including the defence company Lockheed Martin, are working on prototypes of the “virtual firing range”.

The system will allow researchers to simulate attacks by foreign powers and from hackers based inside the US.

More than $500m (£309m) has been allocated by the Department of Defense to develop “cyber technologies”.

The National Cyber Range project is being overseen by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (Darpa), which was also involved in early network research that led to the internet.

When ready, it will function as a test-bed for defensive and possibly offensive technologies such as network protection systems.

Having a controllable mini-internet would allow researchers to carry-out experiments “in days rather than the weeks it currently takes,” Darpa spokesman Eric Mazzacone told the Reuters news agency.

The United States has been gradually increasing funding for internet security-related projects.

US defence secretary Robert Gates said that the country was under almost constant cyber attacks

In 2008, the US military was the subject of a serious cyber attack when part of its network became infected by a worm known as agent.btz.

President Obama, in May 2009, declared the cyber threat to be one of the “most serious” challenges facing the country.

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