Sep 01 2010

We have met the enemy, and he is USB

The DEPSECDEF's new clothes: loomed from an institu­tion­a­lized failure of CRM
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The #2 man at the Pentagon claims agent.btz wormed its way from an unclassified laptop to a secret network; he insinuates these secret U.S. networks connect directly to the Internet. Now, a product known as “ISSE Guard” (see [this link] for details) provides “a cross-domain solution” to bridge networks at different classification levels … and we can safely assume these bridges go through a painful level of NSA auditing. Worse, expert writeups on agent.btz dismiss it as far too lame to operate as Lynn insinuates.

To put it simply: Lynn sacrificed accuracy for hysteria in his explanation.

If you see through Lynn’s hysteria, and if you toss in the timing of the Pentagon’s ban on USB thumb drives, you can arrive at only one plausible conclusion:

Callous U.S. military personnel see USB thumb drives as a ROGUE cross-domain solution “that gets the job done.”

In other words: “we have met the enemy, and he is USB.” Without meaning to do so, Lynn has admitted the Pentagon focused on a symptom (agent.btz) instead of the real root cause (see [this link] for my take).

Everything Lynn has said up to this point tells me we’ve got a much bigger “institutionalized failure of CRM” that will ultimately lead to fratricide. I repeat: “fratricide.” See [this link] for my open letter to the Navy CIO regarding CRM failures.

Here’s the kicker. Since Lynne’s op-ed ignored the institutionalized failures of CRM, it can only mean one of two things. Either he purposely chose to mislead the American public about the root causes behind Operation Buckshot Yankee — or Lynn suffers from a typical case of False Authority Syndrome. See [this link] for the latter. “Which do you believe, Rob?” I believe the latter; let me explain why.

Lynn’s vaunted U.S. Cyber Command is part of the problem, not part of the solution. I DON’T MAKE THIS CLAIM LIGHTLY. I’ve long predicted a unit like U.S. Cyber Command will focus only on the symptoms of institutionalized CRM failures, rather than the root causes. I’ve warned since 2002 that people like Lynn will lead us to fratricide twice before DoD sees the groupthink mentality for the danger it truly is. Again, see [this link] for my open letter to Navy CIO Robert Carey.

“Fratricide is a heavy word, Rob. Offer an example.” Read [this link] where I warned “what if the duel itself is your enemy’s real objective? What if the enemy wants you to twitch your itchy trigger finger?”

I hate to say this — I really hate to say this — but I must steal a quote from CJCS Admiral Michael Mullen. “Mr. Lynn can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he is doing, but the truth is he might someday have on his hands the blood of some young soldier.”

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