Take that cybersecurity defense plan. Bunch of hooey! Peek under the coverlet and you'll find an obese (and growing) cyberattack capability. Check out Kevin Poulsen's report at Browser:
On Monday, we finally learned the truth of it. America already has a computer security Manhattan Project. We’ve had it since at least 2001. Like the original, it has been highly classified, spawned huge technological advances in secret, and drawn some of the best minds in the country. We didn’t recognize it before because the project is not aimed at defense, as advocates hoped. Instead, like the original, America’s cyber Manhattan Project is purely offensive. ...Poulson,Browser
This isn't America of the fruited plain. This is the "bombs bursting in air" land we inhabit, waving our little "we're good, earnest folk" flags.
This is Bush-style use of war to achieve peace.
This revelation came by way of the Russia-based anti-virus company Kaspersky. At a conference in Cancun this week, Kaspersky researchers detailed the activities of a computer espionage outfit it calls the “Equation Group,” which, we can fairly surmise from previous leaks, is actually the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit. NSA’s cyber capabilities have been broadly known since the German news magazine Der Spiegel published a leaked 50-page catalog of NSA spy gear and malware in late 2013. But the one-page catalog descriptions didn’t convey the full flavor of the NSA’s technology. For that, somebody had to actually get their hands on that technology—capture it in the wild—and take it apart piece by piece, which is what Kaspersky did.
The result is impressive. The company has linked six different families of malware—“implants,” as the NSA calls them—to the Equation Group, the oldest of which has been kicking around since 2001. The malware has stayed below the radar in part because the NSA deploys it in limited, cautious stages. In the first stage, the agency might compromise a web forum or an ad network and use it to serve a simple “validator” backdoor to potential targets. That validator checks every newly infected computer to see if it’s of interest to the NSA. If not, it quietly removes itself, and nobody is the wiser.
Only if the computer is a target of interest to the NSA does the validator take the next step and load a more sophisticated implant from a stealth NSA website like suddenplot.com or technicalconsumerreports.com. ...Poulsen,Browser
But NSA has shown itself to be an aggressive whore, right? It strives to own the goods on all of us and has banks of data in the Utah desert to prove it. The idea of it "quietly removing itself" leaving "nobody the wiser" is already a set-up for a joke.
...We can stop pretending now that the government is ever going to have a “Manhattan Project” that improves the state of the art in computer defense. That would undermine the very attack system it has spent billions of dollars and a decade-and-a-half building. Despite the popular can-do appeal, a defensive Manhattan Project isn’t just unlikely. It’s a moon shot. ...Poulsen,Browser.
So. We no longer have police defending us. Local"help," instead, comes in the form of deadly attack with military equipment to control us. No more do we have a military to defend us. No sirree! We are gifted instead with a huge National Security Agency whose power to hogtie us at any given moment continues unchallenged.