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back to article Gov. war gamers hack servers to stay ahead

Participants in US government-run cyberwar games tried to cheat - by hacking into the games. The shenanigans prompted organisers to send an urgent email telling the players to back off. The Cyber Storm games took place over five days in February 2006 and involved the mock execution of attacks by anti-globalisation hackers …

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Happy

Cool

So where do I sign up?

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Ah HA!

I've finally cracked it! John Leyden is actually a sophisticated version of MegaHAL, and the last few paragraphs of this article are the final, incontrovertible proof!

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Thumb Up

I want to play!

EA and the US gov could team up and release this game to the public, first of all it would be a great revenue stream for the government (I suppose they'll put it straight back into Iraq) but also the collective wisdom of the crowds could open new possibilities they hadn't thought about before.

I would pay for this game.

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Anonymous Coward

good idea, for a change...

I wish more businesses would take that kind of approach to their security. You know the little firms I'm talking about, Visa, Mastercard and other such financial institutions across the globe...

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Bronze badge

Wasn't this done a while back...

In the movie War Games.

I see: Lets play a game: "Global Thermonuclear War".

Cue Lights and WOPR computer.

Now, how would you like to play a game of chess..........

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Black Helicopters

Anonymous

It'll be interesting to see if the new scenarios include response to attacks from a group of several thousand dispersed, easily amused and incredibly voracious forum dwellers.

Because it looks like only a matter of time until they politicise.

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Anonymous Coward

OMG. Incoming radicalised forum dwellers.

Alert the mods.

Batten down the ports.

The asbestos trousers, please.

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Coat

Trekkies get everywhere

"Participants in US government-run cyberwar games tried to cheat - by hacking into the games."

Must've seen Wrath of Khan- Kirk admits to hacking the Star Fleet Academy computer system to complete the Koyabashi Maru challenge.

Coat please

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Bronze badge

And just look at what they admitted...

Why hundreds of people on the No-Fly List?

Are they saying these people really are terrorists?

Or are they thinking of a lot of pissed off Americans making a protest about their incompetence?

Both scenarios have the same effects on how the IT systems cope, but have very different failure risks.

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Anonymous Coward

@Anonymous

You mean "Flashmob - the War" ?

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let's see.

So they keep fiddling with the game until they win, then declare that their version of the game represents reality?

Frankly, although the US has some really good geeks on their payroll, the people actually making the decisions are so hampered by bureaucracy and corruption that I doubt they could react fast enough in the case of a real "attack". Which won't come from any vector they've predicted anyway. It never does.

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Boffin

That's the problem with war games

They script the heck out of them, predetermined beginning, mid, and end points. How can you really learn to fight against people who don't play by "the rules"?

These games should be learning experiences where one side improvises new attacks and the other side learns how to counter them.

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

Phishing Trip?

"How can you really learn to fight against people who don't play by "the rules"? These games should be learning experiences where one side improvises new attacks and the other side learns how to counter them."

AC,

You can' t learn them no rules. There are no counters. All you can do is employ them to make them their new rules. They would be, in today's and tomorrow's worlds, which are Virtually Stage Managed, Change AIgents.

And yes, IT is Scripted but the Secret is to Share the Script Openly for Peer Review, Positive Reinforcement. Negative Criticism you can save for yourself as it is never Helpful or Constructive and invariably just Selfish.

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Anonymous Coward

Business as usual

Most militaries spend a lot of their time engaged in these style of exercises when they are not at war. There is the hypothetical invasion of the UK by USA and vice versa that comes up every now and again. It is interesting they are recruiting outside of the military for this one though, their tech levels cannot be too high in the services itself. Or yes, it is just an identification exercise.

As to the no fly list scenario, I think that is akin to thinking a firewall gives you added security by default and does not count as another application surceptible to attack.

If a load of people who were on the no-fly list did appear at airports, it would divert attention from other areas, as security folks would be sent to deal with that problem.

It is like a firewall disabling itself and your net connection, or someone taking a suit of armour to a lightning fight. It is using security procedures themselves as a form of weakness.

A military coup d'etat is another security problem, that increase in risk as you increase your security, and is perhaps the most obvious one, though probably also the most ignored one.

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Silver badge

Now the truth is starting to come out

The postulated enemy here is the "anti-globalisation" crowd, along with "people on no-fly lists"... it's not "terrorists" or "paedophiles" any more. Anti-globalisation: that's anyone who doesn't agree with the idea of corporations taking over the planet, and anyone who believes in national sovereignty rather than a US-led "one world order". Hmmm. People on no-fly lists: not necessarily terrorists either, just someone who happens to be on a no-fly list for whatever reason (such as being an anti-globalist).

Finally, we're coming to the endgame. The powers-that-be are starting to openly admit that "we the people" are the real enemies of the state. Before long, laws will start to be enacted openly and directly to reduce freedom on their own strength, without any need for the "terrorist" excuse. Which means that these laws can be be aimed at destroying civil liberties directly, rather than by roundabout methods.

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Alert

Yep, that works

I can see it now, the red-faced and sweating US Army Major standing next to the smouldering wreckage of another platoon of young idiots, yelling at the enemy: "BUT YOU'RE NOT PLAYING BY THE RULES!"

Love / War = No Rules

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Coat

@Anonymous Coward

"It'll be interesting to see if the new scenarios include response to attacks from a group of several thousand dispersed, easily amused and incredibly voracious forum dwellers...Because it looks like only a matter of time until they politicise."

Your location has been pinpointed. Humour/artistic freedom is not a defense...

Yours is the orange jumpsuit on the second peg. You have 10 seconds to comply.

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Silver badge

To make benefit the US and A

All they need to do is stop pissing off other peoples throughout the world. Then nobody will need or want to attack them.

As it stands now - "the bomber will always get through", if he'd want to.

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Unhappy

But what about the hacking?

So the article starts off by saying that some people were trying to cheat by hacking the game, and then goes on to tell us about the game itself, but what about the hack itself! What did they do, did it work?

Dammit, you caught my interest then let me down by not providing the info I was expecting! Shame on you reg!

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TK

Umm...wait a minute

Isn't the point of these "games" to find potential weak points? If the systems running these simulations can be hacked then that's a valid problem.

Further, I don't think the location of rail cars with something nasty in them is really classified. Maybe trips with radioactive waste is on the list of things not to be spoken of, but most budding terrorists can do just as well blowing up a chlorine laden rail car. And honestly, there's a rail yard just down the road from me where I could just walk right up to a rail car and give it a big ole' wet smooch if I wanted, let alone leave something that goes boom. Cars with hazardous chemicals in them are usually marked for safety reasons (i.e. one jumps the track and first responders need to know what's in them).

For the benefit of the nice US SS man reading this, no, I don't have any intention (or time for that matter) to go blow something up.

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Stop

The point of these "games"...

The point of these "games" was to find potential weak points in real infrastructure, not to hack the simulator, if hacking the simulator was possible it wasn't a very good simulation...

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@Dave Bell - hundreds of people on the No Fly List

Dave, not sure whether you're querying the fact that there are "hundreds of people" on the no fly list or why they should cause a problem if they all turned up simultaneously at airports across the States.

If the first, then you're in for a bit of a shock. As of April last year (can't find a more up to date story) the number of names on the No Fly list was 119,000 and included such obvious threats to National Security as Senator Ted Kennedy

http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/04/watchlist3

If the second, I'm guessing that the problem is that each No Flyer triggers a response which ties up a handful of Airport security personnel for - generally - at least an hour. A lot of that time is spent consulting Gestapo HQ where they only have a few dozen staff to cater for such inquiries. Hence, if several hundred No Flyers turned up simultaneously, their Security Theatre would be overwhelmed...

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Dead Vulture

Little red dots on the enemy....

The real object in 'war' is to place the little red dot or cross-hairs on an older rifle scope on you and pull the trigger. You die and I win.

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Pirate

Spot on Steve R...

Always resasuring to see someone else can see the big picture. Just wait for that next false flag attrocity, it's just around the corner...

Oh and as an aside Ron Paul is one brave chap, who, contrary to mainstream media misinformation, is actually doing very well in the polls (just won in Maryland). He may be the only glimmer of hope that land has now. Of course since he started publicly attacking the federal reserve, income tax and North Amerian Union/Amero his life expectancy has probably taken a turn for the worse but we shall see.

Cyber War games`!? Oh please - they need to get their Hollywood heads out of their Hollywood f*ckin a*ses. Presumably repeated Die Hard 4 viewings figured heavily in their `intelligence` gathering - sums up these jokers in all their short sighted insular idiocy. The tragedy is that the current administrations idiocy has really widespread global ramifications. They are comparable to a 50 ton 10 year old with anger management issues, learning difficulties and big guns. Lancet/BMJ estimate approximately 664,000 dead civilians in Iraq, oops. Nevermind, at least they can build fuck off big bases there now to attack Iran, and then we'll all be happy! (and let's not forget `safer`, from them darn evasive pesky terrorist folk...etc..)

"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to insure our domestic security and protect our homeland." - ?

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