The Onion on the State of IT Security

"China Unable To Recruit Hackers Fast Enough To Keep Up With Vulnerabilities In U.S. Security Systems." It's only funny because it's true.

Posted on October 30, 2015 at 2:35 PM • 15 Comments

Comments

Charles CloudenOctober 30, 2015 3:19 PM

Someone needs to tell The Onion that they've missed the funniest part of the story: most of those vulnerabilities have been deliberately introduced by the US government through the subversion of standards and protocols.

Clive RobinsonOctober 30, 2015 4:19 PM

They could have joked about "outsourcing" to those who's OPM SF86 obtained "CVs" they had reviewed.

Jesse ThompsonOctober 31, 2015 12:43 AM

In less comedic reality however, knowing "every single flaw" isn't relevant when there are a limited number of assets to attack and when it only takes one flaw to attack any specific asset. :J

GweihirOctober 31, 2015 10:57 AM

And not limited to the US as target at all. While it was a bit better in the meantime, script-kiddies can again hack a lot of important targets.

barbaOctober 31, 2015 7:57 PM

@smoking George bush:
You do realize that the Onion is a satire site? And that the edge of the joke was directed towards the US ?

BoppingAroundNovember 1, 2015 9:02 AM

barba,
Is it really satire if it is so easily (mis?)interpreted as something real?

blakeNovember 1, 2015 2:44 PM

@BoppingAround
> Is it really satire

Yes.

For example, the Ig Nobel prizes are both satire *and* real, with the aim to "first make people laugh, and then make them think". See also the Golden Raspberry Awards and the Darwin Awards.

Also related is Poe's Law, which discusses how sufficiently tuned satire ends up *indistinguishable* from reality - which is also directly applicable to the confusion between @bush and @barba in the first place.

PatriotNovember 2, 2015 10:23 PM

The overall lackadaisical attitude towards security and privacy inside the United States will have profound effects on the economy, society, the safety of military members, foreign affairs, and the future of the USA.

The Chinese are laughing their guts out and are getting wealthy off of what they have stolen. Curious how their advanced military equipment looks so much like ours. Their government boasts having all the personal details of every single guy and gal in the US intell community thanks to the OPM debacle. Snowden, that eloquent Timothy McVeigh with a computer, has probably handed the Russians (and Chinese) the crown jewels.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, one does not detect slouching or a depressed attitude from the people whose job it is to protect important information or make sure the nation does not sink into a ditch. We are winning, and we have always been winning.

A day of reckoning will come, maybe on a battlefield, another attack, economic losses mounting, or a combination of effects after having gone from a healthy system with responsible people to a broken one in which, blithely, the game is being lost.

hehNovember 3, 2015 7:32 PM

@Patriot:

"Snowden, that eloquent Timothy McVeigh with a computer, has probably handed the Russians (and Chinese) the crown jewels."


Do you have any evidence for that? All accounts I've read indicate that Snowden didn't possess the "crown jewels" by the time his plane landed in Russia. (Where he happened to get stranded because the U.S. revoked his passport).

Its also interesting that you think Snowden was the bad guy in that scenario. I think it was strongly in the public interest for him to reveal all of those unconstitutional mass-surveillance programs. You should blame the people who set up those programs in the first place, not the whistleblower who told the world about it. Your government is utterly out of control.

PatriotNovember 5, 2015 3:36 AM

@heh

Snowden is a controversial figure.

He did expose some illegality, that is clear. But he also handed over a gigantic cache of other information that did nothing but poke a sharp stick into the NSA's eye.

But Mr. Cyclops does things we like; for example, prevent nuclear terrorism. The scale (strategic) and ramifications of Snowden's betrayal are difficult for most people to grasp. Moreover, it is no fun at all to think about it. In fact, it is not entertaining in any way whatsoever because really bad things could happen to me. It is not something I can just watch on TV and shrug my shoulders about. Snowden's actions have had real effects in the real world. Future effects could be catastrophic. ie. hurt you and everyone you know

We feed and humor Mr. Cyclops for a reason; true, he has to be kept on a chain.
But if another event occurs (9-11 style, or a defeat on a battlefield), and it turns out that Snowden enabled that to happen, then how will you feel?

Mr. Schneier asked Snowden offhandedly about where the amazing revelations were in the stolen info. A lot of that is in Snowden's head (higher classification levels). He is keeping his head on his shoulders by staying valuable to the Russians (I've got the crown jewels), and by not pissing off the leatherfaces under Mr. Cyclops (kill me and I will tell).

Not an easy balancing act to keep up for long. Plus, the Russians, they have a saying about traitors: things won't turn out well. Don't jump on the Snowden bandwagon. What he did could hurt us all.

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