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back to article Cyber-terrorists? Pah! Superhero protesters were a bigger threat to London Olympics

Protests from groups such as Fathers4Justice were more of a worry to London 2012 Olympic Games organisers than computer hackers, according to the former chairman of London 2012, Lord Sebastian Coe. He said procedures put in place before the Games to guard its IT systems – including Wi-Fi networks in stadiums as well as the main …

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Anonymous Coward

Can he even identify cyber targets?

"A recent documentary from BBC Radio 4 revealed that London Olympics officials were warned hours before the opening ceremony that the event might come under cyber-attack. Olympic cyber-security head Oliver Hoare was woken by a phone call from GCHQ at 04.15 on the day of the opening ceremony by GCHQ to warn of a credible threat to the "electricity infrastructure supporting the Games"."

If the electricity infrastructure is on a hackable public network, then you should sack the network admin that did that. Vague cyber-BS from GCHQ is just to give them cover for their own hacking.

The biggest threat of cyber hacking turns out to be GCHQ and NSA, just ask Belgacom. We made the mistake of giving them info on zero day exploits assuming they were within the legal framework of a democracy. Now we know better, they won't receive zero day exploits and Belgacom, Google, Vodafone Greece*, German telecoms, Spanish telecoms etc. are safer from hacking.

* Or was that even a hack? Now we know Vodafone was helping GCHQ spy on networks, did they also do that in Greece in 2002 and maybe even Spain? Why would you hack a company when you only need to ask?

Was Vodafone working for GCHQ back in 2002, when Merkel was bugged and when Vodafone Greece was found to be bugging Greek politicians, and even their spy chief?

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Re: Can he even identify cyber targets?

Not putting the infrastructure on a public network does not make it safe. That might stop a kid in his bedroom, but a foreign state bent on causing your trouble is not going to be put off. Iran's centrifuges weren't anywhere near a public network. I can imagine it's not hard to find ways to physically compromise a closed network as vast as the one controlling power distribution.

I've seen this misconception before with other bit utility style systems.

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I'm proud of the legacy

When I behold the brave new world in the making at Stratford, with the magnificent concrete blocks, the windswept concrete plazas, and the romantic mountains of rubble, when I remember how proud we Londoners were to give up our main roads to exclusive VIP traffic, to give up some of our favourite parks for over a year to what at first glance looked like a campaign of unprecedented state-sponsored vandalism but was in fact definitely done in our interest, I am proud of the legacy of these Olympic games, which gave so many companiespeople so much cashhope and aspiration, and finally put London on the map, whereas of course it hadn't been there before.

Not only that, but the terrorist threats were kept at bay by cleverly positioned missile batteries, at a time when the average person, ever so trivial, was mainly concerned about laptop batteries, and no attacks took place, which is absolutely wonderful. Spare a minute, will you, raise your consciousness above your humdrum day-to-day concerns, and marvel at the tremendous efforts of the brave people and corporations that made all this possible!

All this is a testament to this great Lord and his generous corporate backers, and I wonder why the people of London haven't voted to erect any statues to their memory yet...

...And with this thought, I awoke from one of my weirdest ever LSD trips, feeling rather confused.

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Re: I'm proud of the legacy

"All this is a testament to this great Lord and his generous corporate backers, and I wonder why the people of London haven't voted to erect any statues to their memory yet..."

Actually, it's testament to Ken Livingstone, who signed up Londoners and the nation for the hugely expensive junket in the first place. But Londoners have repeatedly elected Ken, so I think they got what they deserved.

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You realise...

...that with this level of sarcasm going the rounds, GCHQ and Security Service (I wonder why the latter don't like being known by their initials?) will HAVE to find (or make up) a credible new threat. And quickly.

Note that their preferred method of gathering data is to set up agents provocateur. Expect to see adverts in the computer underground for 'hackers willing to attack government systems'...

Or, of course, they could move to somewhere there was guaranteed work, and claim that breach of copyright was a fundamental attack on the country's critical infrastructure, sponsored by the Norks....

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"212 million cyber attacks"

Are they counting every ICMP ECHO separately?

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Are they counting every ICMP ECHO separately?

No.

They appear to be counting them twice...

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The biggest threat, or nuisance, to ordinary people at that time were all the bl**dy cyclists infesting the roads and showing off their hairy legs.

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Threat vs Threat

The use of the word threat is a great example of a creeping aggressiveness showing up all over the West. The word has significant depth and meaning and applying it to silly protest groups and irate taxi drivers is terribly inappropriate overkill.

More than anything it highlights people's failures in risk management. If any potential challenge or hiccup is considered a threat then you have zero risk management capacity in place, are using far too many resources and will be completely unprepared if/when something does happen. Real disasters and threats come out of nowhere and have a habit of not happening in accordance with your plans. Your resources are already locked into responding to situations that aren't happening and are unable physically and mentally to respond to something that hasn't been planned for.

That's why flying planes into buildings and putting bombs in coffee shops is so scary to people. It is completely unexpected and although there are law enforcement and military personnel within shouting distance they're looking for the wrong thing. They can't determine what could be a problem because the problem has already been defined for them by the tacticians with no risk management abilities. It's all a huge waste.

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Thumb Up

Re: Threat vs Threat

mod up +1. This is general populace's inability to do maths, or more specifically, statistics. Unexpected events are multiplied by an immediate grief exponent, making a rational analysis problematic...

Unfortunate as it is, this is the mindset of the "spy on everyone" brigade, which is now paying dividends...

P.

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Anonymous Coward

Placing anti-aircraft defences in civilian areas of your capital city? Saddam did that too...

... and we accused him of hiding behind civilians as human shields, and said it was a war crime.

Phew! Lucky thing that it's OK when it's us who's doing it.

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"Threats" vs threats

"The threats of disruption . . . "

I might note that here in (usually) sunny Sydney there is a definite threat of rain. Indeed, the threat of rain is more credible and, as I have to go out later, more pressing than the threat of my IT systems being compromised.

The rain is certain to be an inconvenience and will require both planning and resources to mitigate, but I'm not sure a discussion of my umbrella holding grip (no matter how innovative) or the feedback loop employed to adjust the angle of coverage (no mater how precise) would fit into any of the defined tracks for the RSA 2013 conference.*

* - I concede it might be of some interest to the attendees, however, given that the conference was held in October in Amsterdam, in which case I would include a detailed look into my method for applying waterproofing spray to my shoes. (The trick is to do several light coats, drying between each and then polishing afterwards to remove any spots.)

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Re: "Threats" vs threats

Sorry Don - just realised I (accidentally, I promise!) stole your subject post title!

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