The US Military last night warned of an escalation in attacks by hackers, seeking top secret information from computer systems. A US security expert warned that the attacks are becoming ever-more sophisticated, and some use emails from people with believable, western names.
Lt. Mjr Brad Cunningham, of 1St Firewall Division, was visibly shaken by the latest attacks. "Our software can normally filter out fake names, particularly those containing numbers, apostrophes or little smiley faces. But our staff are under enormous pressure to identify malicious emails. Sure, an email from a 'Yoyo Delite-Horse' might be easy to spot, but can anyone say with any certainty that 'Brian Sponge Fingerr' is a real person or not? For the record, we now know it's not. And we regret sending 'Brian' a sample F-16 fighter jet."
Cunningham explained why so many personnel were tempted to respond to the 'phishing' scams. "They just promise so much. I mean, $2000 to $3000 a week for 5 hours work, and the only special requirement is 'a happy joy long work for self', it's just too much for the average Joe to dismiss. I've been tempted myself: Mylo Cheese Doorway's proposal for a new 'woodwork manage tool officer' sounded very exciting, particularly when I read that it would suit a person with 'sunny position and satisfaction'. I still wonder if that was a real job offer. I really would love to be my own boss master of several below flooring."
Cunningham outlined further developments in the cyber war: "In some cases, the name of the email's sender has started to match the name of the gmail account where our staff are asked to send secrets. Only the most cynical, most experienced of our intelligence officers stand a chance of defeating these devious tricks."
"The real worry is that by focusing on these sophisticated attacks, we'll miss some of the more sneaky, low-tech attempts to obtain our data. Only last week, I had to discipline a junior member of my team, who was trying to leave two bin-bags full of files on the doorstep of the Pentagon", Cunningham recalled.
"He was responding to a leaflet he'd found requesting clothes, top secrets, valuables and paired shoes, to help short children in Africa. We only foiled this plot when the man in question asked me why they didn't want any bric-a-brac."