Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara

Related Topics: Government Cloud, Cloud Security

Government Cloud: Article

Predicting the 2012 Campaign Compromises

To the American voter, “cyber” issues may not be the hot topic

With the 2012 political season upon us, we have just gained a glimpse of the individual candidates and their cyber policies. It is from those cyber policies that we have also heard the candidates address China; specifically Chinese nation state cyber sanctioned or sponsored espionage.

To the American voter, “cyber” issues may not be the hot topic that the economy, immigration or the presence of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are. However, the candidates and their staffs would benefit by recognizing cyber security is not just a second tier national issue for debate, but a very real problem that they will have to deal with directly in their own campaign’s security posture. The candidates should begin by looking back to the 2008 Obama and McCain campaigns.  For those who can remember, both camps reported that their campaign networks had been compromised.  The FBI and Secret Service both acknowledged the severity of the compromise with one agent telling Obama’s team “You have a problem way bigger than what you understand, you have been compromised, and a serious amount of files have been loaded off your system." Authorities would rule out political opponents suggesting it was a foreign actor seeking to gather information to assess the individual candidates policy positions.  Obama’s technical experts would later speculate that the attackers were either Russian or Chinese.

In May 2009 during his speech on securing national cyber infrastructure, Obama stated “I know how it feels” detailing the events of his campaign compromise, indicating that “our fundraising website was untouched. So your confidential personal and financial information was protected.” Which suggests that the Obama campaign compromise was not financially motivated and that it may have been much more pervasive and in line with what FBI, Secret Service and the technical experts alluded to. Considering that Obama’s or McCain’s campaign documents have never showed up on Wikileaks or otherwise, it is a reasonable assumption that a foreign intelligence service was indeed responsible for the exploitation. In addition, one could also conclude that both incumbent Obama’s and McCain’s domestic and foreign policies would have also been a priority intelligence requirement for a global power such as China or Russia. For a resourced foreign intelligence service to implement Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) as a means to gain raw details of either candidate would have been a trivial effort.  A well crafted, and targeted spearphishing message to a public relations or campaign spokesperson is all a foreign intelligence service needs to establish persistence within campaign networks. The significance of a campaign compromise by a foreign intelligence service would have been very severe. Campaign strategies, embarrassing or compromising information could be obtained to influence a candidate or even leaked in a controlled manner to the media as a means to shape public opinion for or against a particular candidate.

One of the basic tenants of Security Intelligence requires organizations to learn from past and present security events to effectively make timely predictions of future threats in an effort to mitigate risks.  In the case of the upcoming elections, Cyber Squared can assess with high confidence that the 2012 campaigns will most likely experience persistent targeted exploitation attempts, which unfortunately have a high probability of success unless the campaigns are proactive about their security posture against such activities. What is most important is that the candidates are already thinking ahead, not only of how they will protect their own campaign networks but also our Nation’s networks.

More Stories By Rich Barger

Rich is the Chief Intelligence Officer for Cyber Squared and the ThreatConnect Intelligence Research Team (TCIRT) Director.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...