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Tuesday, 14 December 2010 14:54

UK government prepares for Cyberwar

Written by Nick Farell
y_globe

Shooting the script kiddies
The Blighty government is placing sandbags around its servers, installing searchlights, barrage balloons and reading itself to fight script kiddies on the beaches. The UK fears that when it extradites Wikileaks Julian Assange to Sweden to face his accusers in a controversial sex case, the likes of 4Chan and Anonymous will "go mental".

To be fair to the government, there is nothing it can do. If it ignored Europe's extradition procedure and hung onto Assange, it would be giving the green light to every villian to move to blighty. There they can defend against extradition to their homeland on the basis that "if it is good enough for Assange it is good enough for a father stabbing, mother raping, drug dealer." So all Whitehall can do is shore of the defences and hope it can ride
the coming storm.

Extra security measures have been added to a host of government web services, in particular those used to claim benefits or provide tax information. The theory is that the entire world of 4Chan will blitz blighty.

The anger of Assange's supporters is likely to be increased by a claim from his British lawyer yesterday that a grand jury has been secretly empanelled in Virginia to consider charges against the Australian over the diplomatic telegrams. Internet activists have already targeted the website of the Swedish judicial authorities bringing the sex charges allegations against Assange.

Whitehall is expecting a hack into databases or a distributed denial-of-service (DdoS) attack. Part of Whitehalls problem is a stupid Coalition government directive to "save money" by not updating Internet Explorer. Whitehall is now stuck with a geriatric version of IE which is so full of bugs that Microsoft does not want to have anything to do with it.

Of course the millions of pounds of damage that Anonymous will do thanks to this "saving" does not seem to have occurred to the Coalition. It would appear that Britain has not been so ably lead in a war since Lord Cardigan thought it was a good idea to charge his Light Brigade at the wrong guns during the Crimean war.

A spokesman for David Cameron's office said that the priority would be websites where we are dealing with information that belongs to members of the public. So if 4Chan attacks the databases or internal networks they will be unprotected.

There is little that Whitehall can do against a DoS attack on a website if it is determined enough.

Nick Farell

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