Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Perfect Virus Score Card: NSA-Brit "Regin" Rains Rancid Reign

In March of this year, I added the Russian "Snake" to my last virus score card (see it here). Thanks to today's New York Times story (read it here) referencing Symantec's paper published Sunday (read it here), following is my best estimate of the new "Regin" virus capability as measured against my criteria for the Perfect Virus (read all 22 Principles of the Perfect Virus here):

The good news? This joint US-British effort appears to be a typical government/state-developed piece of bloat-ware that assumes anything worth stealing can be accessed from a Windows environment. Hence, forget about seamless migration (#5), black box portability (#7), no common denominator (#10), and universalization (#18). Net net, government employees and beltway bandit contractors really aren't the best and brightest.

The bad news, however, continues to snowball:
  1. If you're using Windows in any form, you're basically hosed.
  2. If you attempt any aggressive defense against intruders, you're probably going to get hosed repeatedly by one or more cell mates in prison.
  3. This cyberwar escalation can only prompt Mr. Putin to somehow demonstrate to the world that Russia can trump Regin (heaven forbid the U.S. power grid will be a target on Christmas Eve).
  4. With a formal policy of letting the U.S. "fox" guard the henhouse, there is little hope a modern-day Tony Stark will invoke the U.S. Constitution's Article 1 Section 8 clause to become a licensed/bonded cyber privateer and take a victory lap around the Senate proclaiming, "I have successfully privatized world cyber security!"
  5. You really don't want to be driving a car controlled by a Windows-based computer
Hence, we are the equivalent of Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie, sending Obi Wan (see the YouTube clip here) an SOS:  "Help us Israel; you're our only hope." 

Yep, Israel—the most attacked country in the world—has nothing to lose and everything to gain by monetizing world-wide Internet security. They could make it extremely risky to attack anybody. Heck, I'd buy a you-hack-me-and-I'll-sic-the-Mossad-on-you insurance policy. Shalom, momma!

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?