The anti virus industry is all excited about a new remote control worm and its gaining press coverage. If you are an average home computer user you don’t have to worry too much about it. If you use remote desktop help than you need to worry. The Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is often used by help desks to provide off site system administration and repairs. The RDP feature defaults to off on most systems so unless you turned it on it will not be a problem. The good news is that Microsoft fixed the problem in patch release MS12-020. Run the Windows Update service and you won’t have to worry.
As my readers already know the Chinese Army is the world leader in cyber war and has been successfully attacking the United States for many years. According to the US Government the Chinese have managed to steal many military and government secrets along with commercial secrets that can be used to give their industry a competitive edge against us. This is in addition to their research in how to take over our electrical grid and other services. The Chinese are also concentrating on stealing the source code secrets of many computer security products and have been successful. Having the source code makes it easier to bypass the security. Companies have made it easy for them in many cases by either contracting the work out to Chinese companies or by allowing the source code on networks with a connection to the Internet. There is a new unsubstantiated rumor that the Chinese Army has moved into a new phase in their attacks against the United States. Smaller computer security companies tend to be more secure than larger companies and generally their products are 100% made in the USA. This is very hard for them to steal. These products also tend to be very specialized and used by the government. The one weapon the Chinese Army has that is hard to defend against is a lot of US money. The rumor is that the Chinese Army is spreading around money to try and put these smaller computer security companies out of business. If this rumor is true then you can expect to see a lot of not well known but critical smaller companies go out of business.
A report on the Chinese Capabilities for Computer Network Operations and Cyber Espionage concludes “Chinese computer network operations reflect a nation fully engaged in leveraging all available resources to create a diverse, technically advanced ability to operate in cyberspace”. Computer technology is strategic for the Chinese beyond military applications and is applied to long-term national development. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army considers the ability to seize information dominance as prerequisite for achieving victory. Their Army considers that it is critical to protect their own networks while attacking an enemy’s network. Meanwhile the United States is being left in the dust for our ability to defend or attack.
Peter Radatti is the CEO of the CyberSoft Operating Corporation and has been dealing with computer security for governments for over 24 years. Contact him at www.cybersoft.com.