August 30, 2010, - 10:43 am
For years after 9/11, the U.S. did little to fight cyber-attacks by Islamic terrorists and others. For eight years, George “Faux-Counterterrorism” Bush and for nearly two years of Obama, we went through useless, incompetent cyber-terrorism officials who did nothing. For most of the last nine years after the attacks, the FBI didn’t even have e-mail, despite a bloated budget for computers and other cyber-activity. And, as I told you in March, a TSA employee was allowed to remain at his computer–and inserted a virus–after he knew his TSA employment was terminated. We simply do not take cyber-security seriously.
Last week, the story of a successful Middle Eastern invasion at the heart of our most vital online secrets came out but was largely ignored in favor of less important symbolism like the two-blocks-from-Ground-Zero mosque. I wonder–and doubt–if a single person was fired over this cyber-screw-up, which jeopardized who knows how many lives of American spies, soldiers, and other operatives. And, remember, this took place under the “counterterrorism” Prez in 2008, the same guy who did nothing but welcome Muslims to our shores for eight years and pander to them like the current guy. The attack was so serious that President Bush was briefed on it, but did little other than briefly ban the use of portable flash drives. Yeah, I’ll bet that worked (so easy to enforce, right?). But, no worries, Bush–and for a time, Obama–continued to use the same failed cybersecurity pointchick and adviser, Melissa Hathaway.
Writing in Foreign Affairs, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III disclosed the heretofore classified incident:
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Defense suffered a significant compromise of its classified military computer networks. It began when an infected flash drive was inserted into a U.S. military laptop at a base in the Middle East. The flash drive’s malicious computer code, placed there by a foreign intelligence agency, uploaded itself onto a network run by the U.S. Central Command. That code spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control. It was a network administrator’s worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary.
This previously classified incident was the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever, and it served as an important wake-up call. The Pentagon’s operation to counter the attack, known as Operation Buckshot Yankee, marked a turning point in U.S. cyberdefense strategy. . .
The 2008 intrusion that led to Operation Buckshot Yankee was not the only successful penetration. Adversaries have acquired thousands of files from U.S. networks and from the networks of U.S. allies and industry partners, including weapons blueprints, operational plans, and surveillance data.
And what have we done about it . . . other than come up with a fancy name for an “operation”? Little, it seems.
How much classified information was garnered by that flash drive infection? What names of informants and U.S. operatives were obtained and compromised? How many of them died because of this screw up? Whom do we suspect insert the flash drive? Was it an innocent U.S. official, unaware of the infection? Was it someone more sinister, who knew what he/she was doing? Do we have any idea? I’ll bet we don’t. And I’ll bet we haven’t completely gotten rid of the infection either. As is typical with the feds, likely little was done. We’re too busy with the important stuff like Ramadan Iftar dinner visits and kissing Saudi and Jordanian and Turkish butt.
Oh, and by the way, in a sign of the adequacy of the government’s ability to deal with such incursions, Deputy Secretary Lynn notes,
It takes the Pentagon 81 months to make a new computer system operational after it is first funded. . . . The iPhone was developed in 24 months.
Hey, I’d be far more confident with Steven Jobs running our cybersecurity than either Bush or Obama. They failed, especially Bush, since this happened on his watch and he had more than seven years to rise to the occasion of 9/11 . . . and never did. Too busy pandering to the Gulf state sheikhs who would fund his Presidential library and taking their garbage and refuse onto our shores as entitlement-abusing illegal aliens.
We’re the U.S. Government. And we’re here to help you.
BTW, I’m sure I’ll get hatemail and unhinged partisan comments about “blaming Bush.” Sorry, but he was Prez in 2008, when this happened. I suppose I’m supposed to blame Obama?
To all the ignorant hate-mailers who refuse to face facts, I blame you for this as much as I blame Bush, because for eight years, you were asleep, you were silent. Why did it take a liberal in the White House to wake you up? Because you are morons, no different than the sheep on the left. And you are the death of us as much as they are.
Nope, I still don’t miss him yet. If you do, you weren’t paying attention for eight years and are part of the problem, NOT the solution.
Tags: 2008, classified, computers, cyber-security, cybersecurity, Department of Defense, Deputy Defense Secretary, digital beachead, flash drive, infected, laptop, maliciious computer code, Middle East, President Bush, rogue program, spies, terrorists, U.S. Central Command, William J. Lynn III