Russia hacks, plunders the U.S. No bullets fired

It seems so simple, and I hope it’s not: Russia has invaded the U.S. and assaulted the U.S. presidential election, and they haven’t fired a single shot.

It would seem all roads lead to the Russian government having their fingers in the U.S. Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Committee. And WikiLeaks now becomes the New New Gun poised at the collective heads of U.S. politicians—by their revelations and their intent.

+ Also on Network World: U.S. cyber incident directive follows DNC hack +

The U.S. government is believed to have a playing hand full of Zero Days that they’ve used to invade and perhaps harass foreign governments and their officials. Certainly German Chancellor Angela Merkel wasn’t happy about talking into the ear of the NSA, or rather her smartphone, sometimes called a “handy” in Germany.

Russia appears to have played a few of the cards themselves, handily feeding WikiLeaks—and WikiLeaks is no friend of the U.S. As we continue to force Julian Assange to stay in the London embassy of the Ecuadorian government, so also did the U.S. cause Edward Snowden to find a new home in Russia—in fear of his life and limb.

Did we also forgive and forget Hillary Clinton—along with a long list of previous U.S. secretaries of state—for running their own mail.

You fools!

It is with profound sadness, long past amusement, to observe that the assets of the U.S. have been consistently and thoroughly compromised. Is this the new crux of politics—to see who can hack whom? Is MAD Magazine’s Spy vs. Spy now reduced to accidental reality?

Yes, the systems security turf is long and wide—and larger than can be imagined. So far, and with great luck, no one’s fooled with the primary U.S. government funding mechanisms—tax collections. Will law enforcement be next? Will we start releasing prisoners from the Joliet Correctional Center randomly? Will executions and trials be dismissed? Will the grids go down?

The first answer might be “of course not.” I don’t believe that answer.

This week I’m in Las Vegas, attending the Black Hat and DEFCON security conferences. There will be few “told ya so’s” because security researchers have been raising alarms for years. There will be new and amusing ways taught and learned in how incredibly brittle and vulnerable systems have been, are and—without a lot of brains and efforts—will be.

It will be treated as business as usual.

Except that Russia has tried to sway a U.S. election by hacking its assets. And the U.S. let them. And there are no Air Force bombers in the air, and nary a shot was fired—because no bullets are necessary to break systems security. Instead, someone walked in the back door, grabbed the goods and embarrassed the U.S. populace.

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