CNN a few days back ran a story about an interview with Chinese “hackers”, first of all CNN needs to know that the Pentagon is not a website! They have a website but they aren’t a website. These are the type of gullible guys who are now commenting about national security & cyber crime, oh dear where have all the good reporters gone? Maybe CNN should hire technology reporters who don’t faint in awe when hearing the words “TCP/IP”. The worst thing is that it’s CNN lot of people panic when they hear something like this on CNN.
However, there is a grain of truth in that article, in 2005 there was widespread infiltration of various European and American networks in a series of attack that they’re now calling “Titan Rain“, the real name for these attacks has now been classified with the rest of the details. Most of these attacks have been blamed on China, now as the very nature, data and the name for the case itself is classified, one should be slightly skeptical to what extent this is true but it does tell us one thing, a new type of espionage is on the rise. In the good ole days you used to have humans, whom you could torture/kill/maim/imprison on suspicion of theft of the classified documents which you could bury, burn and lock up in a safe 2 miles beneath the ground, whatever. Now we have organized groups of people hundreds of miles away in their homeland jacking into a network using viruses, worms, trojans with the aid of truly anonymous proxy servers or bot nets and access vital data and potentially use it against the nation.
This should make leaders lose their sleep. Think about it; what if Al-Qaeda uses the same techniques to infiltrate and gain the blueprints of a thermo-nuclear device, including techniques to enrich the uranium etc? Shouldn’t this be on the top list of priorities for every nation? Well, if you think about it, it tends to get very impractical to fix up every loophole in a network in order to make it foolproof, if the guys at the NSA, CIA, Pentagon haven’t been able do it, do you think that any other government can? It’s very scary to think that those people, usually one of the best in their field, aren’t able to tackle it but maybe there’s a second way out.
First: The data has been connected to the internet because they need data access from multiple locations around the globe, why not put the most vital data on a secondary network which is connected to the highest offices of the country and make sure that there is no other connection out i.e. the only way left now to steal the data is to physically steal it from one of the secure computers, they have safeguards against that and it’s much easier to implement those than digital ones.
Second: They can employ the techniques of quantum encryption which have been proven viable in a recent swiss election basically, there are two pairs of particles which have been entangled lets say A & B when we entangle them their physical states become inherently link to each other even though they may be physically separated in distances measured in thousands of kilometers, the beauty is that if there is any eavesdropper which intercepts the particle and sees the state on B then he cannot according to the uncertainty principle return it to the original state. It’s against the law of nature to successfully eavesdrop in this scenario. Thus it’s impossible for any 3rd party to intrude without altering the state of particle B which would alert the receiver, thus it’s fool proof, practical but expensive.
Maybe they could remove funding for items like Antimatter weapons or “Voice of God” microwaves that beam speech into the heads of unsuspecting enemies to fund more vital aspects of their national security and I think that other nations should follow suite.
Thus there may be one day when most of the websites containing sensitive data will become safe, till that time I suggest not to put very sensitive data online at all, I know this may sound very low tech but if you really consider the convenience of the internet over national security then you this is the wisest thing anyone can do, after all isn’t prevention better than cure?