Feeds

BT: Olympics cyber attackers were amateurs

No match for exhaustive planning and over-provisioning

Reducing security risks from open source software

Some writers were apparently less than enthused by BT’s attempts to locate and clean up any infected machines – valuing their right to privacy on the network more than the impact their infected machines had on others.

In the end, 18 months of war gaming and huge over-provisioning of network infrastructure meant BT was able to cope with the threats that presented themselves to an infrastructure that had to be basically completed by 2010.

Attack traffic averaged less than one per cent of total volumes, with most of that figure accounted for by “background noise” rather than anything specifically targeted at the Games, Packman added.

However, he admitted that BT was in charge only of security around the network perimeter, and that Atos – which dealt with IT security proper – may have different war stories to tell of the Games.

Schneier on security

BT’s chief security technology officer, Bruce Schneier also dropped into Hong Kong to share his unique brand of socio-techno philosophising and insight into the Games.

According to Schneier, every system – be it social, biological, etc. – requires co-operation to work properly, but there will also inevitably be ‘defectors’ – those who choose not to co-operate – and it is security which “keeps defectors down to an acceptable level”.

“Security is a tax on the honest in a very real sense because nothing Phil Packman did in a sense made anything better, it just stopped other people making things worse,” he said.

“This is why our jobs are so difficult, because if you do a good job no-one knows.”

He also warned that the gap between the attackers taking advantage of new technologies and law enforcement and others catching up is greater than it has ever been.

However, Schneier ended on a positive note.

“Threats are what we [as security professionals] work with. The bad things as a percentage of the whole are tiny – we’re doing really well, even though things are pretty bad out there and getting worse,” he said.

“I’m a short-term pessimist but a long-term optimist.” ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
L33t haxxors compete to p0wn popular home routers
EFF-endorsed SOHOpelessly Broken challenge will air routers' dirty zero day laundry
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.