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Wikileaks & the Security Community

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Lubinski

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Post Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:52 am

Wikileaks & the Security Community

I bring this possibly hypothetical situation to the table.

As everyone knows Wikileaks has been forced to run and hide with the latest "cables" that were released. ( I will not debate the legality of Wikileaks, this is not about that). Wikileaks has been put under numerous attacks and been pulled from numerous services. Examples will be Paypal and EveryDNS. They have faced extreme pressure from numerous governments now and have Assange has been put on Interpol's wanted list.

To me Wikileaks has raised a very important issue here. With the pressure from numerous governments and companies and possibly those same governments or companies inflicting the DDOS attacks.

WHO is on Wikileaks side?  ???

Shouldn't we as a security community stand up for whoever chooses to use the internet as a communication medium?  ???

It seems to be really one sided here. There is the chance that I am just not privy to the information flowing back the other way due to our corrupted news organizations.

What do you think?
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sil

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Post Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:01 am

Re: Wikileaks & the Security Community

Lubinski wrote:They have faced extreme pressure from numerous governments now and have Assange has been put on Interpol's wanted list.

To me Wikileaks has raised a very important issue here. With the pressure from numerous governments and companies and possibly those same governments or companies inflicting the DDOS attacks.


Firstly, you assume its a government inflicting DDoS attacks. To be quite honest, highly unlikely. It would be easier for the government to collude with favorable vendors (and they have many) to outright blacklist any DNS requests, etc., for example, its already been established that the NSA and AT&T have friendly Naurus relationships, so that would be an indicator that it would be more EFFECTIVE and cost effective to throw up an emergency "state ordered" block on the site via DNS requests and blacklisting. Irrelevant to some degree, but let's place this in your perspective: "A government is DDoS'ing Wikileaks..."

1) So what. This occurs quite more than most know. In fact, once upon a time, it was rumored that Electronic Disturbance Theatre was "funded." (too lazy to find their link, feel free to Google, EDT)
2) Its obvious since Wikileaks is still up, that they (whichever government you attribute this to) aren't doing an effective job - they need cyberwarfare guidance. Hell I have some 0days I can sell em.
3) Finally, to be honest and blunt... Who cares? (a, b)

(a) The world doesn't and won't stop for a website nor "horrible news." Never has, never will. There is no "catastrophic" fallout from Wikileaks' disclosure. Sure it made some people cringe but it seems more of a "schoolyard: he said she said" scenario where someone said something in the hopes the other person would never find out. Guess what they found out!!! "OMG? Are they gonna hate me in the morning?" Life goes on.

(b) The realistic perception of what Assange is doing with his "leaks" seems to be that of an orchestrated "targeting" of America. I read quite a few intelligence lists (OSINT) and I see a lot of information on MI6, SAS, Mossad plots of assassination games, espionage, etc., yet I haven't seen an iota of this on Wikileaks. So more for "world intel sharing" eh?

Which brings me to a (c)

(c) If I were in the military (ANY MILITARY), I'd DDoS him on my own accord. For one he is putting a lot of lives in danger contrary to what those sitting at home on a couch/computer know. Terrorist organizations and the individuals in them weren't born yesterday. There are PLENTY with tangible technical skills capable of dissecting this data and using it against EVERYONE. Not just the American military/government/citizens. Shame on Assange for not using his brains.

That in itself could bring up a (d) which has already been discussed and disclosed where Wikileaks was once seeking a "payday" by soliciting money from intel community (CIA, Mossad, etc.) in the hopes of some of those guys (Assange, et al) "retiring" with a pretty full pocket. Funny thing is, the intel agencies snubbed them (Wikileaks) and that's when Assange's "attitude" shifted to "Robin Hood." (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20011106-281.html)

Moving along to criminalities....

1) Right now Assange could literally get away with murder. There is nothing stopping him from robbing a bank, killing a slew of tellers, leaving to another country and crying: "They're persecuting me..." There is so much distortion that is going on with the entire site/himself that he could generate a slew of zombie followers crying "Free Assange" without the vast majority understanding the truth (he robbed a bank and killed tellers)

2) I've been to Sweden and lived there for some time. I know their laws are EXTREMELY fair so much so they're almost passively laughable. If Assange did no wrong, he should go back and plead his case. By him "running" and "crying foul" he makes me think that he is even MORE guilty than he is being made out to be. All this because if he did no wrong, he should go back and defend himself period. I don't care if you need to sell your last piece of clothes to pay for a lawyer, if you committed no crime, then you fight to clear your name PERIOD. You don't run and cry foul.
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ziggy_567

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Post Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:14 am

Re: Wikileaks & the Security Community

Shouldn't we as a security community stand up for whoever chooses to use the internet as a communication medium?


The Internet is being used quite heavily to recruit new Jihadists and radical Islamists. Should we as a community turn a blind eye to their activities off the Net and support their right to exist on the Net? Nope!

Or, how about pederasts and other people that exploit children? They are also using the Internet heavily to further their activities.

There are limits to EVERYTHING! Otherwise you have anarchy...
--
Ziggy


eCPPT - GSEC - GCIH - GWAPT - GCUX - RHCE - SCSecA - Security+ - Network+
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alucian

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Post Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Wikileaks & the Security Community

I would like to see some details bout the bad thinks that happen now and will affect our future (conspiration teory like  ::) ).
We all know that US gouv have done some nasty things in the past, but I am sure that the russians weren't angels. So yes, I agree with Sil that the guy targeting US gouv, and he is using anything against them. I don't even live in US, so I don't defend them.
It is too bad that such a good ideea as wikileaks is used in the wrong direction (not 100% wrong anyway  ??? ).
CISSP ISSAP, CISM/A, GWAPT, GCIH, GREM, GMOB, OSWP
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Bushman4u

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Post Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: Wikileaks & the Security Community

Here is my little 2 cent contribution! If any security pro. is really in doubt about this issue, you should be attending the SANS 560 that will put every issues raised here to rest. I am not ad. SANS here nor am I working for SANS. I am not even associate with them.
Qoute "hack and pivote mercilessly but within the rules of engagement". From whom did this guy get his permissions to hack/obtain this info? Which systems were he limited to hack?

Unless you are the bad hacker/guy who breaks cyber laws, then you can fear but if you are a real security pro., you fear not.

Judge for yourself.
Certifications: CISSP, GISP, GPEN, GAWN, MCSE, Network+ and A+
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Lubinski

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Post Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:43 am

Re: Wikileaks & the Security Community

I wrote the post for the primary purpose of being a "firestarter". The views expressed don't necessarily express my own and I agree with a lot of your comments, thanks for the replies.

Either way (a) government(s) has a heavy hand in all of this. Sometimes they over reach some times they are too conservative. Interesting topic though.

Brings to the forefront Cyber Warfare and its role in the future.

Now heres my own opinion. I think that a division of the government should be allowed to attack with bits with no remorse. The black side of the field doesn't show any remorse why should we?
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sil

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Post Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:51 am

Re: Wikileaks & the Security Community

Lubinski wrote:Now heres my own opinion. I think that a division of the government should be allowed to attack with bits with no remorse. The black side of the field doesn't show any remorse why should we?


"Pre-emptive strikes" are altogether flawed as evidenced in Iraq. The difference between a "cyber" war and striking first physically are as different between day and night. Imagine this for a moment to point out the differences: "In order to launch a missile at our enemy, the missile must pass through many towns and states sometimes burning things in its path..." How would you feel then? Would you be "all for" pre-emptive strikes?

On a network, in order for ANY government to pass "attack traffic" (bad packets, exploits, etc.), they'd need it to leave their network, traverse other networks in order to get there. In that timespan, that traffic WILL disaffect businesses that have NOTHING to do with this "cyberwar" nor will WANT to have anything to do with it.

Imagine the following, you live on a street with two other houses. On the street a 1/4 mile away, another house is sending non-stop trouble through your street. You're paying your mortgage for your home and piece of mind, but now this house a 1/4 of a mile away is disaffecting you. How would you respond to something that is affecting your bread and butter, your family, piece of mind, etc.? Would you be cheery they're sending their garbage through your road? What if it were a business and you started losing money (Denial of Service).

Not only this, but the fact that they're attacking a "moving target" (there is no way to validate who is behind what IP). How would you feel? Imagine for a moment I broke into your business, caused trouble and now a military of "authority" is counterattacking your business. How much sense would that make?

There have been plenty of studies in why "cyberattacks" are failures. I started a VERY LONG discussion on this earlier this year: "Nato warns of strike against cyber attackers" which is worth reading from the network operators' points of views. These are the guys who will deal with the aftermath of keeping networks in order while said attack would occur. (http://seclists.org/nanog/2010/Jun/index.html#98) The most informative commentary came from Dr. Steve Bellovin: http://www.mail-archive.com/nanog@nanog ... 23798.html which I strongly urge some to read if one is interested in the reality of "cyberwarfare" its a lose lose lose scenario for everyone which can ultimately cost a pretty penny
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the_Grinch

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Post Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:15 pm

Re: Wikileaks & the Security Community

Sil is 100% on the money about cyber attacks not being affective.  It is almost impossible to 100% confirm where an attack came from.  Also, with everything being so interconnected, an attack could do damage to an unintentional target.
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