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July/August 2008

Face-Off: Chinese Cyberattacks: Myth or Menace?

  Chinese cyberattacks: Myth or menace? Security Experts Marcus Ranum & Bruce Schneier Offer Their Opposing Points of View Send comments on this column to POINT by Marcus Ranum Something is definitely going wrong with the U.S. Department of Defense and government agency networks, but it's not what you probably think. When it was announced that more than 10 terabytes of data had been stolen from DOD unclassified networks as part of an orchestrated operation from China, I was as horrified as you. Ten terabytes is a lot, and I'd have expected someone to do something after, say, the first terabyte flew by--especially because I happen to know something about the money spent on monitoring systems for some of those networks, and the sensitivity of the data on them. DOD always counters: no classified information was accessed. But that's BS--the unclassified networks carry logistical, payroll, personnel, medical and operational data. What's really going on? Could it be that many government networks have ...

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