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back to article Hacker breaks into Pentagon email system

The Pentagon took as many as 1,500 computers offline yesterday to stamp out a security breach in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told reporters in a news briefing today that a hacker had penetrated an unclassified OSD email system, prompting the shutdown. The system reportedly does …

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Anonymous Coward

How does he do it?

Just like all other Bushies - Prayer!

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More likely...

Screaming obscenities and throwing chairs. "Prayer" is something only referred to in public, as a means of getting votes from fundie idiots.

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Know the Master, Know the Servant

appointed by George the Younger, who doesn't do email, and hates to read.

where's the surprise?

just be thankful the guy can read. well, i hope he can...

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"perhaps hundreds of attacks a day".?

"According to Gates the Defense Department gets "perhaps hundreds of attacks a day"."

Wow! thats almost 1/20th of a nessus scan!

How does the DoD do it?

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No email

Emails leave a trace of what you did and said.

Why would a government official want that?

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JP

Now we wait and see...

if this guy gets arrested and threatened with life-imprisonment/execution (if non-US citizen) or if he's given a small fine, slapped on the wrist, and hired by a security firm (US citizen).

Takers? Any takers?

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Silver badge

I'm sure he does use email

Of course though, if he admitted he used email, he'd have to reveal the address, and then he wouldnt be able to deny knowing the stuff he's been emailed as it would be "public record"....

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McKinnon they all cried!

I wonder how long it'll be before they try and slap this on Gary? I also wonder how many more scapegoats will have to come into the public eye before the various institutions in the "most powerful nation in the world" get their thumbs out of their IT behinds and secure their networks.

Quite funny when you consider the latest propaganda from the US of Arse is trying to goad is into thinking "techno-terrorism" is this decade's threat... shouldn't they be getting their own house in order instead of preaching it to the choir?

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I can hear the conspiracy theorists right now...

how it is all a ruse so they can lay the blame on someone and have them arrested, or how about they were testing out their own Skynet System and things went awry, hmmmm that sounds like a plot for a movie.

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So he doesn't "do" email...

Of course he doesn't "do" email - he "does" a nice deniable unarchived webmail account on GOP servers.

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Silver badge

How does he do it?

Like the Dear Leader (that's Tony Blair for our overseas visitors) - he has people to do his email for him.

I wonder how many of the world's leaders (corporate as well as political) can actually send an email? I'd bet it's a lot less than half.

On the one hand, it's alarming that people making serious decisions should be so ignorant of technology. On the other hand, it means they don't have to spend three hours a day wading through viagra spam.

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We are obviously fecked

"We obviously have redundant systems in place, and there is no anticipated adverse impact on ongoing operations. There will be some administrative disruptions and personal inconveniences. It will come as no surprise that we aggressively monitor intrusions and have appropriate procedures to address events of this kind,"

That sounds like "panic everything is fecked" to me.

I might use that after out next outage.

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Desktop Revelations

So Blackberries are secured and defaulted to American DOD Interests?

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Wankers

So many wankers , given that in an average year the Pentagon's computer system is infiltrated a minimum of 160,000 times!

Sadly it does prove that even a five year old child , using any old computer connected to the internet , with very few keystrokes , can hack into the Pentagon's Computer systems without even trying very hard indeed!

The "Peter Principle" rocks on in the new century!

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Anonymous Coward

poor use of the word "hacker" again

I consider myself a hacker and detest the media's poor use of the word.

The term you're looking for is "Cracker"... if you had even bothered to google the word "hacker" just once you'd understand your mistake.

The use of "hacker" in this sense is HUGELY offensive to the IT community.

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Silver badge

That explains it.

cchhkk. Tango one, we have unidentified forces approaching, are they friendly over? chhhkk

<silence>]

Chhkk. Tango one are you there. Please confirm if friendly, other wise we shall open file....

<silence>

Ok, send an email, the radio is down....

Tap tap tap

Ok, give it ten minutes and then open fire....

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The one true way

Vision, and will power, of course!

That, plus Voodoo (v2.1) --- the only way to keep your tubes clean.

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Bootnote

We managed to fight plenty of wars with pen and paper didnt we?

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Re: poor use of the word "hacker" again

I think you'll find from that story that you can not tell what method or attempts were made on the Pentagon system, so therefore you can not tell wheter it was a hacker or a cracker. He could have found an exploit instead of just guessing random user/pass combinations.

I also know that not many hackers would admit to being hackers so openly. Something makes me doubt you. Wonder why. What do others think? ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Some people....

From wikipedia:

A hacker is a person who uses computers as objects of study rather than as instruments that facilitate work.

A black-hat (cracker) is a term in computing for someone who compromises the security of a system without permission from an authorized party, usually with the intent of accessing computers connected to the network.

Mr Pearce, you obviously don't understand the difference.

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Unclassified?

Do you really think that only unclassified information is on those computers?

"I hear the 2nd Brigade is deploying this summer. Isn't that your brother's unit?"

"I just saw where Tacit Rainbow's successor is 6 months late. Now I have to do a new budget and get the Undersecretary a briefing paper together. Looks like I won't make the bridge game tonight."

"They just requisitioned bin Laden's DNA samples. You know what that means."

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Silver badge

Pay peanuts......... Swing along a Branch.

"A black-hat (cracker) is a term in computing for someone who compromises the security of a system without permission from an authorized party, usually with the intent of accessing computers connected to the network." .... Presumably a White Knight Mad Hatter of a Cracker improves the security of a system then, without permission from an authorized party, usually with the intent of replacing the Network for accessing computers.

Bet you they don't get paid nearly enough for the SChannels they discover though, which would be a failing of the System which prompts and feeds the less than inscrutable to be devious and divisive....Malware in the System/Electronic Bad Blood/Food Poisoning.

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RE: Some People....

Also quoted from Wikipedia:

Wikipedia has been accused of exhibiting systemic bias and inconsistency; critics argue that Wikipedia's open nature, and favouring consensus over credentials in its editorial process, makes it unauthoritative, and that a lack of proper sources for much of the information makes it unreliable.

;-)

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Clearly it was...

Kevin Mitnick, who did all of this by whistling into a pay phone, while simultaneously sending 3 faxes and ordering a pizza using GW Bush's credit card.

That man (and his mouth) is amazing.

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RE: Some People

"Wikipedia has been accused of exhibiting systemic bias and inconsistency; critics argue that Wikipedia's open nature, and favouring consensus over credentials in its editorial process, makes it unauthoritative, and that a lack of proper sources for much of the information makes it unreliable."

Hm. So if anything on Wikipedia can be unreliable, is this quote also unreliable?

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Re: How does he do it?

> On the one hand, it's alarming that people making serious decisions should be so

> ignorant of technology. On the other hand, it means they don't have to spend three

> hours a day wading through viagra spam.

No, that's the problem - that they don't wade through their spam. If they did, they would certainly give a s**t about it and try to do something about it legislatively for the sake of their inboxes and consequently the net as a whole rather than for the few specific causes that best represent their parties in positive attitudes.

Cheers,

Sabahattin

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