Call in airstrikes with a web browser...
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Thread: Call in airstrikes with a web browser...

  1. #1
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    Call in airstrikes with a web browser...

    Guys,

    War Studies: Hack, Crack and Attack Iraq
    Call in airstrikes, anywhere, anytime with just a web browser...

    A small report in last week's Business Week has left computer hackers collectively choking on their Diet Cokes. While not traditionally the read of choice for most hackers, the magazine caught the eye as it detailed the US air force's new whizz-bang computer system that enables any of its staff around the world, with access to a web browser and the right encryption software, to speak to air command and call in air strikes, reconnaissance sorties or a realtime map of local enemy territory within seconds. The article is bristling with ****-sure quotes from military types boasting about how it will lead to a new paradigm of battlefield efficiency and speed. The hackers, however, are interested in one simple sentence issued by a confident director of technology at Lockheed Martin, the firm that has designed the system. "All you need is Internet Explorer," says Doug Barton, explaining how simple it is to use. So then, let's get this straight, ask the hackers, you're prepared to gift control of history's most awesome military machine to, say, a spotty teenager in Fresno who prefers to stay indoors fiddling with his computer rather than be outside skateboarding like everyone else his age?

    "Everybody knows that this will be hacked in a matter of days," said "Minister of Inferior" this week on an internet message board popular with techies. "I'm already quite uncomfortable with hordes of geeky 14-year-olds having access to my Hotmail account and credit card info. The thought of them soon also being able to wage war is not reassuring." Another contributor, "rmurf62", aware at how notoriously vulnerable Internet Explorer is to hackers, was even more concerned: "'All you need is Internet Explorer' my ass. They sound as confident/exuberant as MicroDollars oft (sic), which is a scary, scary thing indeed." What-if scenarios abound. What if a pilot was shot down over Iraq and Saddam forced him to log on and order a B52 strike on the Pentagon? What if an al-Qaida operative hacked his way in? What if an ambushed soldier needing urgent air cover finds his screen saying, "404 Error - File Not Found." Would he be put on hold will he awaited connection to the technical support hotline? There was someone out there, however, prepared to believe that the US air force may have, just possibly, thought through the question of attack from hackers. "I guess if you come from the school of thought that finds the military to be a bunch of drooling idiots who wouldn't be able to find their own ass if it was handed to them," said "cookiepus", "then you might be inclined to believe that there's going to be a www.launchthemissiles.mil, where the user name is 'NORAD' (North American Aerospace Defence Command) and the password is 'guest'. Otherwise, you're just paranoid." Leo Hickman
    I just can say... wow!!!

    Bye.

    DKRR

    Edit: Sorry, i made a mistake with the link. Here is the source.

  2. #2
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
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    That is extremely scary. Besides the obvious abuse that could happen (launching airstrikes) who thought of this as a good option? I hope their is some kind of fault tolerance or some kind of check before they really launch an airstrike. Or what about if someone DOS's the website that allows you to launch an airstirke so noone can get on to launch an airstrike. Do you have a link to the story. I did not see it on CNN.com.

    Thanks for posting the link to the source.
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

  3. #3
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    Did you know that in kosovo the soldiers mostly used wireless communication. And when the soldiers used the phones a few days later the families would recieve false information from the enamy such as your son/daughter has been killed in action.

  4. #4
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    gps?

    how did they use the GPS (global positioning system, unless you are referring to something else) to communicate? to my knowledge, a GPS receiver works by timing how long it takes a signal to make it from the satellite to the receiver and then using that information to calculate the longitude and latitude of the receiver. this site is where I learned about it: http://www.howstuffworks.com/gps.htm . I might be wrong though; do you know any details about how they accomplished it?
    Binary005

  5. #5
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    Binary: You are indeed correct. The GPS system is completely passive - as I explained just the other day.... Imagine your $2m dollar cruise missile advertising itself on the way into it's target by actively interrogating satellites...... Bit of a waste of time huh?

    Edit: for typo - damn.... need to get my eyes fixed.....
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  6. #6
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    It seems to me that there is a major flaw in this system.

    This will to make those comunications throught Internet with a "standard" software (can we really called IE a standard, or even a software, it's another problem!) indicates clearly that the army plans to use civilian's (or like civilian's) systems of connection (if they have an independent way to comunicate, they would need Internet only for urgencies).
    But, this sort of connections can be easily controlled/monitored/refused by an enemy on his own land. He can intercept and analyse messages, block all messages which are going to recognised army sites, or even trace the source and kill a soldier in trouble quicker.

    That's why it seems to me to be a stupidity.

    KissCool

    EDIT: 400th post. I'm now "AntiOnline Senior Member".
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    Life is boring. Play NetHack... --more--

  7. #7
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    And that, dear Kisscool is where the term "cyberwarfare" or "electronic" warfare came about. Remember the Internet came out of ArpaNet which was primarily a DOD system built to withstand a full nuclear attack by being hugely distributed and redundant. (Before you all jump up and tell me that the EMP, (Electro-Magnetic Pulse), experienced in a nuclear blast will wipe out all the electronic gadgetry required to manage and run such a system - I know - It always struck me as a major flaw in the system - But I'm not exactly a rocket scientist...<S>).

    The issue now becomes protecting the trunk routes used from the enemy's monitoring devices. This entails physical security at each node along the paths and trusting the operators within the nodes to be "good chaps", (or owning all the nodes).

    It can be done - the question is "Does the Government have the skilled personnel and the attention to detail required to pull it off successfully". This is, of course, a question I will not try to answer for myself out of a) ignorance, but more importantly, as a 10 year veteran, out of an utter distrust of the ability of the shiny-asses in administrative jobs to effectively organize a piss-up in a brewery.
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  8. #8
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    I thought precisely to infiltrations missions in enemy territory which could probably be the most concerned by this way of comunication. And I assume that if a governemnt is able to protect "the trunk routes used from the enemy's monitoring devices" (as you perfectly said, Tiger Shark), it doesn't need to use Internet.

    I now ask myself if this magazine article could not be false (or maybe manipulated, or incomplete, or biased).
    Life is boring. Play NetHack... --more--

  9. #9
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    Man what will they come with next. It worries me cause militaries are always
    making new weapons and gadets. This might be the primary reseason of so many wars.
    dying to see what their new toy can do
    childish uh!

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