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posted by mrpg on Wednesday June 13, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the 600GB-of-txt-files-is-massive dept.

Nation-state attackers affiliated with the Chinese government have made off with a trove of undersea military secrets, according to a report.

Hackers were able to mount a lateral attack after compromising the networks of a Navy contractor working for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Rhode Island, according to a Washington Post report, citing American officials.

The result? “Massive amounts of highly sensitive data” flowed into the hands of China, unnamed officials told the paper, including “secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020.”

The incident happened January and February, the sources said, and resulted in 614 gigabytes of data, most of it highly sensitive info related to American offensive and defensive systems, including cryptography systems for secure communication, signals and sensor data, and the Navy’s electronic submarine warfare library, which contains information about adversary radar platforms.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Oakenshield on Wednesday June 13, @01:45PM (4 children)

    by Oakenshield (4900) on Wednesday June 13, @01:45PM (#692326)

    I wonder if we learned anything about placing too much trust in machine encryption from the Enigma.

    The Germans trusted it. Too much.

    It would have been secure if the operators had followed proper procedures. i.e. not reusing the same rotors every time, reusing initial rotor settings and plug board settings, not sending the same message fragments on every message.

    The biggest flaw in the Enigma was that no letter could be enciphered into itself.

    Good operating procedures, properly enforced, would have made the plugboard Enigma machine unbreakable.[3][4][5] However, most of the German military forces, secret services and civilian agencies that used Enigma employed poor operating procedures, and it was these poor procedures that allowed the Enigma machines to be reverse-engineered and the ciphers to be read.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptanalysis_of_the_Enigma [wikipedia.org]

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday June 13, @02:46PM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday June 13, @02:46PM (#692348) Journal

    You talk like you don't know the military boys.

    They want unbreakable security that they can break, in case it falls into enemy hands. They will throw the security away in a heartbeat if it inconveniences them too much, and hoke up bull to justify what they want to do. For instance, they want to use MS Windows, and they don't care that it's the least secure and most infected OS out there, they like it because they feel comfortable that they know how to use it. But they're also slow to approve new software. They've probably not yet moved to Windows 10. Might even still be using Windows 2000.

    How do they justify, on security grounds, their use of an old version of Windows? Well, it goes like this. Linux was written by foreigners, while Microsoft is an American company. How do we know these foreigners haven't put backdoors in Linux?? But Microsoft can be trusted, because they're American.

    Because military discipline can be excessively harsh, they are extremely anxious to avoid blame. The low ranking officers can be more worried about taking the blame than taking a bullet, it's that harsh. We're talking court martial, prison, hard labor, and dishonorable discharge. Their top security concern is not external enemies, it's internal ones, that is, their own bosses. They have a saying in the military: "shit rolls downhill". It's a succinct expression of the very common practice of blaming your underlings for your mistakes, who in turn blame their underlings, and so on.

    • (Score: 2) by Oakenshield on Wednesday June 13, @07:20PM

      by Oakenshield (4900) on Wednesday June 13, @07:20PM (#692487)

      what does any of this have to do with what I wrote about Enigma being unbreakable when used with proper procedures?

      They want unbreakable security that they can break, in case it falls into enemy hands. They will throw the security away in a heartbeat if it inconveniences them too much, and hoke up bull to justify what they want to do.

      Say what? Are you trying to say that the Germans intentionally operationally misused the Enigma in case it fell into Allied hands? Just so they could break it afterwards? You are making no sense at all if you are trying to dispute that the Enigma would have been secure in WWII for the Germans had they followed protocol.

      How do they justify, on security grounds, their use of an old version of Windows? Well, it goes like this. Linux was written by foreigners, while Microsoft is an American company.

      You do realize that the NSA is the creator of the SELinux kernel extensions, right? And you do know that the Air Force maintains a secure distribution of Linux called TENS? https://www.spi.dod.mil/lipose.htm [dod.mil]

      They have a saying in the military: "shit rolls downhill". It's a succinct expression of the very common practice of blaming your underlings for your mistakes, who in turn blame their underlings, and so on.

      The military also has another saying. "You can delegate authority, but you can't delegate responsibility." In other words, you are talking out of your ass.

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday June 14, @08:25PM (1 child)

    During the war someone realized that many different messages had the same initial cleartext; perhaps the date.

    So the order came down to prevent stereotypical text attacks by starting every message with a nonsense word, such as "Sonnenschein".

    Hilarity Ensued.

    --
    "MICHAEL DAVID CRAWFORD IS A LYING MOTHERFUCKER."
    -- Anonymous Coward
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by martyb on Thursday June 14, @08:44PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 14, @08:44PM (#693164) Journal

      During the war someone realized that many different messages had the same initial cleartext; perhaps the date.

      Can't remember where I came upon this and it may be apocryphal, but I heard the initial cleartext was: "Heil Hitler". Certainly sounds plausible to me.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.