NATO cybersecurity is worse than it looked; a lot worse

Fake Facebook pages targeting NATO top general are tip of a very insecure iceberg


If you've ever returned from a lunchtime or late-night event a few minutes or hours (or days) late to find a boss, a spouse or a parent standing, arms folded, waiting for an explanation, no one has to tell you it's easy for other people to leap to the wrong conclusions based on scant evidence.

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On the other hand, scant evidence and obvious conclusions are often pretty accurate; even by definition, the once-in-a-lifetime series of coincidences that made you late and may be responsible for that sick new tattoo are simply too rare to undermine the credibility of the obvious conclusion under certain circumstances.

I mention this because of my disappointment at having an obvious conclusion confirmed.

Yesterday I mentioned that the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) had formed a Rapid Response Team that would be responsible for dealing with sudden cyberattacks from unfriendly countries intent on committing acts of cyberwar.

I pictured the team forming NATO's Computer Incident Response Capability (NCRIC) springing into action with a more-lethal, military version of the fluid, aggressive response that was standard operating procedure at content-distribution-network Akamai when I wrote about it in 2005.

The attack I wrote about wasn't terribly unusual for the time – a DDOS attack on a few of Akamai's DNS servers that generated a volume of DDOS traffic that was near the high end of attacks recorded by 2005, but not nearly enough to set any records or overwhelm Akamai's multilayered network.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters/Francois Lenois

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