Smiling Michael McConnell and his firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, have been struck by the Anonymous hacking group. It's one illustration of a "they had it coming" rule of the cyber-jungle in action.
From a year ago, snapshot of a firm aggressively working cyberwar hype.
A file containing more than 90,000 e-mail addresses plus passwords, logins and other information was put on The Pirate Bay file-sharing site.
The group [Anonymous] said it stole the information by targeting a poorly protected server on the defence firm's network.
Booz Allen Hamilton declined to comment on the incident.
In text accompanying the download package, Anonymous said it was "surprised" at how easy it was to infiltrate the server given the consulting firm's record of working on defence and homeland security.
If one goes to the Pirate Bay and reads the preamble from the hacktivists, it carries the strong scent of they-had-it-coming. Which I've mentioned in previous posts as part of the current security milieu.
Specifically, Booz Allen Hamilton and its cybersecurity operations director, Michael McConnell, are targets probably because of the very large role they played last year in cyberwar hype.
McConnell took it upon himself to enter the opinion pages of the biggest newspapers, to appear on 60 Minutes, trumpeting the danger of cyberwar. In computer security circles this was seen by many as abusive revolving-door behavior aimed at transferring more taxpayer money to Booz Allen's cybersecurity contracting. Indeed, even traditionally government cybersecurity men were compelled to comment that the hype manufactured on cyberwar was not helpful.
The reality, on the other hand, is that Booz Allen has been very strongly committed to hiring computer security specialists from the clutches of the government then leasing them back at premium rates.
And I covered the business quite a bit about a year ago, here, in Cult of Cyberwar: When Booz Allen's mouthpiece attacks.
Look for the box containing the number of counts for Booz Allen and Michael McConnell appearances in the press. That's working it.
Earlier this year, the hacking campaign got into Lockheed Martin, another business very big in providing contracting cybersecurity services for the US military.
And the attacks against vendors are also part of a crowdsourced response to what is now perceived as bad behavior and corrupt practices by a noticeable number of firms in the business of providing aggressive cybersecurity contracting services to various arms of the government, military and corporate America.
Keep in mind that right now national cybersecurity interests have nothing to do with betterment or benefit for the middle class. Fundamentally, it's part of the ruling class/warrior class/arms manufacturer tier.
And alert readers will have noticed this is not at all about shadowy enemies attacking what the cyberwarriors are always going on about -- a threatened infrastructure, water and power. Instead, this is an attack on the firm that regularly used that 'argument' as a reason for awarding it more contracts. (And the way it's been presented to the world indicates a strong interest in leveraging future attacks, albeit through the blunt instruments of compromizing passwords and accounts among the low-level workers in the same sector.)
When you see discussions of cyberwar in the mainstream media, that's where the talk about cyberwar threats is coming from, not from any altruistic desire to protect the average person's life from something bad. It's all about money and the financialization of cyber-defense into the private sector.
Computer security, the lack of it, on the global network is a very substantial problem. But our cyberwarrior contractors aren't really about fixing it or even managing it in some equitable way. Think of them more as the clouds of flies following garbage trucks to the dump.
Collected posts on Michael McConnell, Booz Allen and cyberwar -- are here -- from the archives.
This post was originally published at Dick Destiny blog.