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ICG Risk Blog - [ The DDoS attack of all time was in the cards ]

The DDoS attack of all time was in the cards


Hackers penetrated and, for a period of time, took control of parts of the TeraGrid, a supercomputer network used for compute-intensive tasks such as weather forecasting. Even a single supercomputer on a broadband network is the equal of thousands of desktop PCs.

This is inspired in its analysis of critical path -- so that relatively few computers could launch the kind of digital Pearl Harbor that Dick Clarke spoke of but was pooh-poohed by many in industry.

In yet again another example of the bad guys operating inside our OODA Loop, the systems were apparently vulnerable due to recently discovered software faults. These computers were running Linux and Solaris OS variants -- not a Microsoft OS. It is interesting to think of us spending a packet to armor up Microsoft OS products and the bad guys take us down via key faults on Linux and Solaris OS. Talk about 'hitting us where we ain't.' My admiration and compliments to the perps. It will be interesting to see what seeps out as to their identity and/or nationality.

Change "could" to "must" in the following and you have it:

"This could be a wake-up call to what should be very, very secure computing environments, because these machines should never have been compromised."

Anything less than "must" and the follow-through it demands just leaves us booking seats in a future bipartisan commission trying to determine what went wrong.

I can only hope that this is setting off massive alarm bells in government, the OS providers, institutional management, and the sysadmins of TeraGrid.

Hackers Strike Advanced Computing Networks
By Brian Krebs Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 13, 2004; 5:40 PM

Gordon Housworth

Cybersecurity Public  InfoT Public  


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