U.S. Senator: We Need to Look Into Anonymous, Pronto

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U.S. Senator: We Need to Look Into Anonymous, Pronto

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Senator John McCain, former Republican Presidential nominee, asked Congress to dedicate a committee to cyber-infiltration by groups like Anonymous.

With the recent attacks on videogame companies like Sony and so-called internet security firms like Booz Allen Hamilton fresh in everyone's minds, John McCain wants action. The hacktivism phenomenon is not limited to the private sector, government agency websites like the CIA have been brought down through DDoS attacks but, more importantly, the leaking of sensitive data to organization like WikiLeaks and more invasive thefts of personal information at firms like HB Gary are serious threats to national security. McCain thinks the problem is that no one group in Washington is tasked with dealing with these issues.

"As you know, cyber security legislation has been drafted by at least three committees and at least seven committees claim some jurisdiction over the issue," McCain wrote in a letter to Senate leaders. "The White House put forward a legislative proposal in May and the Department of Energy put forth requirements and responsibilities for a cyber security program that same month. Earlier this month, the Department of Commerce sought comment on its proposal to establish voluntary codes of behavior to improve cyber security and the Department of Defense issued its strategy for operating in cyberspace.

"With so many agencies and the White House moving forward with cyber security proposals, we must provide congressional leadership on this pressing issue of national security." In short, there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

"I write to renew my request that the Senate create a temporary Select Committee on Cyber Security and Electronic Intelligence Leaks. I feel this Select Committee is necessary in order to develop comprehensive cyber security legislation and adequately address the continuing risk of insider threats that caused thousands of documents to be posted on the website Wikileaks," McCain wrote.

While I didn't vote for McCain in 2008, I always respected him as a leader who knew shit from shinola. He's absolutely correct here that there needs to be a designated government body overlooking the whole cyber-security issue from a top-down perspective instead of hacker groups like Anonymous being the hot potato that no one wants to hold.

On the other hand, maybe the Senators are just worried that they'll be hacked ...

Source: Mccain.senate.gov

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Is anyone reminded of Scanners at the moment?

But sure, we can trust McCain. He chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. What more proof do you need?

First and foremost would be to put hackers on the payroll to track down Anonymous hackers after their little escapades, so they can be arrested and prosecuted.

I am all for freedom of information but electronic vandalism like what Anonymous does is juvenile, naive, and threatening to common people. eventually doing things "Just for the Lulz" will include shutting down power to a hospital or something that puts real lives in danger.

The_root_of_all_evil:
But sure, we can trust McCain. He chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. What more proof do you need?

Sarah Palin was a political hail mary to garner female votes, nothing more. had Mac been elected she would have been the most marginalized VP since John Adams

Once again, government is late to the party in figuring out what the public figured out long ago. Flattering picture by the way; saying you respect him and insulting him in one fell swoop. The back handed insult is a subtle art we don't see much of in this day and age.

JPArbiter:

Sarah Palin was a political hail mary to garner female votes, nothing more.

I always saw her as the Bayonetta vote.

Ultra-violent politics with more thought put into image than substance.

I completely agree. There should be a committee dedicated to cyber crime. I see nothing wrong with this.

And therein lies the problem with John McCain: He's a reasonable individual with a good idea here or there, but he works in American politics.

That's like sending a talented landscape painter to the front lines.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Is anyone reminded of Scanners at the moment?

But sure, we can trust McCain. He chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. What more proof do you need?

My thoughts exactly.

Seriously, let the people who have a vague clue what they're talking about do their job, ok Mr. McCain? Not every single thing that happens is a chance for you to score political points.

Lemme say that. Fancy laws are fancy. What does it mean? That you make all that buzz with the "new legislation" to show your voters how much "you care" and then it changes nothing. The laws to arrest hackers exist already for ages, the tools are all there, it's easy - track them down and can 'em.

Thing is, until you start educating your employees about security, invest in proper security audits, start using the technology available you won't change a thing. As long as some guy in the office opens the attachment in the mail, as long as you let your cousins son who failed to get to college/work write the code for your website, as long as you don't even have basic security in place all the fancy laws you make won't change a damn thing because the nice lady or man working in your office will give out/change password over phone.

Start with basics and use what you already have available. No amount of arrests or pretty papers will completely remove hacking, ever.

Well hacktivists putting up personal information of random people (addresses, email, birthdays, etc) Should be a crime. Along with obstructing the government from attending to its affairs (Ddos-ing gov websites), and businesses too. So I agree there needs to be a better way to arrest hackers and hold them accountable for their actions.

I mean when I get money out of the bank I'm usually just asked for my driver's license and either my birthday or my address before a withdrawal is made. Its a bad security practice especially if some one walked in with a fake ID of me. but the point is even lesser personal information can be dangerous to give out.

Nice picture you have there of him...

I do agree, get rid of these hackers. though.

Who would be in this committee? Old guys who are better adept at spending other peoples' money and know dick about technology? Seems like the more we try to change, the more things stay the same. Sorry John, I like you, but you are wrong.

On a somewhat related subject, why do we need so many committees for things anyways? Isn't that just another way politicians are able to go "See, I do lotsa work. I deserve a bigger paycheck now", even though all of them already make six figures?

That photo. Ohhh, Escapist. Nonbiased news at its finest. Love it.

Why did you choose that photo of Mccain?

He looks like the picture you'd select in a fighting game.

OOPS! Looks like you've fallen into the delusion that the U.S. has any power or jurisdiction over the Internet.

I like how kids on the net are now threatening the lives of the people in our country.

The man speaks sense. I don't agree with most of his politics, but the man isn't stupid.

What would be much better is proper education at school level on computing. Considering over half of our lives are reliant on some form of computing, so should our education

So no one wants to arrest the founder of HB Gary for conspiracy to illegally attack Wikileaks? Sure I dont always agree with WikiLeaks or Anon but sometimes the people they fight are just as bad.

Next, we'll find a way to bring back the dead!

wouldve been cooler if he had made a "there are too many engi's on the server" joke...

^^^ Yup Ver ... and maybe we could get around to teaching them about this wild new idea called 'Evolution' ...

What you need to do is get a dedicated group of hackers on your payroll. The more skilled the better.

We do need something, but I have a suspicion that it'll somehow end up being detrimental to the freedom of the internet.

In short: This is why we can't have nice things.

LOL! Love the McCain Picture.

Sounds like someone is afraid of being caught for looking at porn at work.

"John McCain wants action".
Every politician wants someone else to take "ACTION!".
Because if the results are good, they'll claim they masterminded it.
If it's bad, their PR people spin it "He never meant X, it was clearly misinterpreted!!!"...

And punching on Anonymous is a nice way to avert attention from whatever dirty laundry is going on elsewhere. Because 'hey, everyone hates dem hackery folks, right?!".

I don't think several investigations from several good government organisations is a bad thing.
Because the more prying eyes and smart minds, the more chance for succes.

Yes, because this situation is EXACTLY what we need. To get government agencies involved in something they do not comprehend, so they can draft legislation proposals much like S.978 That does more harm than good, Does not do what it is supposed to do, in order to attack an organization that has done good for the people.

I mean what exactly is this supposed to do? Drafting laws to fight a non threat by a group of people the likes of which think the internet is made up of a series of tubes?!?

Yes, so lets hurry up and get guys like these on the case so they can gain tools to persecute threats to their corporate overlor.... Errr.. uhm.. I mean, fix this problem.

Keava:
Lemme say that. Fancy laws are fancy. What does it mean? That you make all that buzz with the "new legislation" to show your voters how much "you care" and then it changes nothing. The laws to arrest hackers exist already for ages, the tools are all there, it's easy - track them down and can 'em.

...ugh. Could you at least pretend to read these articles? What he's saying is that while the law(s) exist to deal with them, because they've been drafted over a long period of time by a variety of different groups with different axes to grind/groups to appease, it's a tangled beuracratic mess with regards to who has to deal with things (and, in effect, who gets the credit).

So yeah, setting up one group specifically to deal with this stuff makes perfect sense.

Yeah, there needs to be better regulation to deal with cyber attacks and a better way to arrest hackers and prosecute them. A centralized government agency dedicated to doing this would be a step in the right direction.

Anonymous isn't the 'organisation' (if it can be called that) that is truly a threat.

The real threat for cyber security, as Anonymous/Lulzsec themselves have stated, is not the people who publicly release information without any intent of using it to abuse said information for their own personal gain. The hackers that we really need to worry about are those who don't leave a calling card - those who are thieves in the truer sense of the word, whom merely come in, take all the credit details and vanish to steal millions without anyone tracking them.

All the likes of Anonymous do is hack for the sake of political message - and they do so very successfully, accumulating huge amounts of media attention from all over the world. Its not for personal gain. We don't know who the people are who hack for personal gain. Thats the entire point.

If this proposal is specifically tailored for those types of hackers, who are thieves in the literal sense of the word, then sure, I'm all for this legislation. But if its to target hacktivists who's primary concern is with political topics like government transparency, freedom of speech, etc, such as Anonymous, then I'm seriously concerned with whether this is just an online version of 'covering up'.

Also,

Greg Tito:

With the recent attacks on videogame companies like Sony

With all due respect to The Escapist and you yourself, I have issues with this particular sentence. Considering the title and subtitle of this news article is centred around Anonymous, this sentence suggests that it is now considered a fact, rather than speculation, that Anonymous hacked Sony and brought about the months-long closure of PSN. However, there are a vast number arguments suggesting that Anonymous was not involved in the PSN scandal, such as Anonymous themselves claiming that they did not hack PSN.

Whether this suggestion was intentional or not, I think that this particular wording gives a false impression that Anonymous has been confirmed to have been involved in that particular incident. Considering the nature of this website, I would also argue that such a wording could also potentially cause inflammatory opinions against Anonymous based around false arguments, due to the vast number of gamers on this website and the emotions involved behind the closure of the PSN.

While I fully understand if you do not act upon the points made here, I respectfully ask that this particular sentence be omitted from this article for the reasons stated above.

good luck with that Anonymous leaves little to no trails behind.
also Anonymous is like a bear: it will only attack if provoked.
if you don,t provoke them they won,t attack you.

It's a good idea.

I mean the with the whole Lulzsec thing I was hoping for the government to shut down their site, their twitter account and whatever else they used to spread their terrorism then investigate them. With so many different groups seeming to technically have the ability to go after them the passiveness is a bit easier to understand.

"I don't wanna go after them, you go after them."

Get some government agents who's clear job is to investigate and attempt to stop the organization of criminal activity online.

"Oh! Oh! Help! I'm being oppressed!" people will cry wolf. They've been crying wolf for years. The internet needs more regulation to protect the government, the corporations, and the people from criminals online. The last hacking spree that was all over the news is proof of that.

Father Time:
Why did you choose that photo of Mccain?

He looks like the picture you'd select in a fighting game.

"McCain went on to say, 'These dang hackers. They make me so annoyed... so mad. McCain MAD! MCCAIN SMASH!'"

I'd be amazed if he knew how to turn on a computer. Really 'Let's find anonymous'. Yes, let's find the people who by their very definition have no ties or affiliation to any organisation, with no defined structure, methods or morals and are sporadically spread out across the globe. Idiot.

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