Today, for example, I found quite a bit about topics like these:
- "Obama daughters to attend Sidwell Friends"
CNN (November 21, 2008)
- "U.S. influence is on the decline, report says"
Los Angeles Times (November 21, 2008)
The second news item has been handled a few ways. The Los Angeles Times didn't do anywhere near as much hand-wringing and/or gloating over how America won't be so powerful, 17 years from now.
Actually, that report seems to say that things are going to be different in 17 years. No surprises there. Today isn't just like 1991, and there's no indication that change is going to stop now.
From what I got out of the summaries, and a really quick glance at the report, America may lose a little ground, but the big changes include China, Russia, India, and Brazil becoming more powerful players in world affairs. Bottom line, there are other big kids on the block.
Another Day, a Few More Details About the Pentagon WormI had to dig a little, to find more information about the worm that's in the Pentagon computers.
Although quite a few news services are using the more familiar term, "virus," what's working its way through the Department of Defense networks is a worm: a self-replicating bit of code that sends copies of itself around a network, and can do other things when it's not replicating.
From the sounds of it, this is almost certainly a deliberate attack: not some bozo downloading the wrong Beyoncé video. The Pentagon is being very careful about what they let the news media tell us - and whoever is behind this. I'd love to know more about this, but I'm willing to wait. "National security" is a phrase that got a bad reputation several decades back, but sometimes it is a good idea not to tell a hacker what did, and didn't work in the latest attack.
One detail that isn't public is just what the worm is. Apparently, it's shown up in networks outside the American military's: so whatever marks this as a probable attack may be something in the way it got started in the Pentagon.
I also found out that Wired seems to have broken the story. I really ought to pay more attention to that publication.
Defense Department Computer Network Being Eaten by a Worm - and This isn't News?!I might have missed something, but ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN don't seem to be covering this story. Why, I don't know. I'd like to think that the news editors are sophisticated enough to realize that malware spreading in America's military computer networks is a problem, and could affect American citizens: but I can't see why it isn't being mentioned.
- "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World"
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (November 2008)
- (Hardcopy may be purchased from the Government Printing Office (ISBN 978-0-16-081834-9)
- Available in PDF format online
- "DoD confirms computer virus in networks"
NavyTimes (November 21, 2008)
- "Pentagon bans computer flash drives"
Associated Press (November 21, 2008)
- "DoD orders ban on digital storage devices"
AirForceTimes (November 21, 2008)
- "Military Looking Abroad for Source of Cyber Attack on Pentagon"
FOXNews (November 21, 2008)
- "Military's ban of USB thumb drives highlights security risks"
SC (November 20, 2008)
- "Under Worm Assault, Military Bans Disks, USB Drives"
Wired (November 19, 2008)