Friday, February 22, 2013


It used to be the "reds" and their nukes. Then it was the "terrorist" and their suicide vests. Now, it's the "cyber" hacks. Whatever it takes to scare us into a state of paranoia that will justify throwing billions of tax payer dollars in hiring some "New Guns" to take on the boogeyman.  
Even though the Federal Government operates a giant network of agencies like the NSA, CIA, FBI, DHLS, ATF, they claim to be defenseless against this new threat and, as they have done so many times in the recent past, they hire "private contractors"; profit driven companies to do the job, and, dare I say at a much higher cost to the taxpayer.  
The question that begs answering is; why can't our government do the job? What are all those tax supported agencies doing with all that cash they claim to need to protect the country? Instead of spending millions on asking people to take off their shoes in airports maybe those funds, plus a lot more that's wasted, could go towards fighting the "cyber war." 
The recent alarming disclosure that China is hacking our computers has generated the kind of fear and paranoia that neo-cons and the "military industrial complex" thrives on. 
The winners in this new scare are companies like Mandiant who put out a blistering report about China's cyber attack on the U.S.
This begs another question. Why wasn't this report put out by one of the government agencies that have long been aware of these attacks? You get one guess. It's the "M" word.  
The report, embraced by stakeholders in both government and industry, represented a notable alignment of interests in Washington: The Obama administration has pressed for new evidence of Chinese hacking that it can leverage in diplomatic talks — without revealing secrets about its own hacking investigations — and Mandiant makes headlines with its sensational revelations.
The report also shows the balance of power in America's cyberwar has shifted into the hands of the $30 billion-a-year computer security industry.
"We probably kicked the hornet's nest," Mandia, 42, said in an interview at the Alexandria, Va., headquarters of Mandiant. But "tolerance is just dwindling. People are tired of the status quo of being hacked with impunity, where there's no risk or repercussion."
China has disputed Mandiant's allegations.
Mandiant, which took in some $100 million in business last year — up 60 percent from the year before — is part of a lucrative and exploding market that goes beyond antivirus software and firewalls. These "digital forensics" outfits can tell a business whether its systems have been breached and — if the company pays extra — who attacked it.
Mandiant's staff is stocked with retired intelligence and law enforcement agents who specialize in computer forensics and promise their clients confidentiality and control over the investigation. In turn, they get unfettered access to the crime scene and resources to fix the problem (Mandiant won't say exactly how much it charges, but it's estimated to average around $400 an hour).

Is Mandiant a 'digital Blackwater'?

The last question I want to ask is; who is profiting from this new war? How many politicians and the people that finance their campaigns have invested in this industry?  Chances of getting an answer to this question is slim to none because it would be the needle that bursts this new bubble before it has a chance to inflate into another large waste of tax payer dollars that quickly disappear into places we can't go to.

Nonetheless it worth a try;