The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) is still trying to repair the damage
caused by a massive hack attack last month. The full extent of the penetration,
and damage, is not yet known. The forensics people aren't sure when they'll be
finished. What they do known so far is that the attack came from China,
although the Chinese deny any involvement.
enough, the attack targeted a part of the navy that did not contain a lot of
current secrets. When it comes to developing new strategy, the NWC is pretty
much out-of-the-loop. Very few of the CNOs (Chief of Naval Operations, what the
commander of the navy is called) in the past 30 years was even an NWC grad.
Most current admirals never went. Sea duty and mandatory specialist schooling
seriously cut into the education options of naval officers during the Cold War
and the '90s. Remember, the Navy was always deploying, while most of the Army
and Air Force, and a major chunk of the Marine Corps, were essentially in
garrison, during those years.
NWC students are headed for important staff and support jobs, not the key
command positions. The NWC is a wonderful repository of historical information
on American naval operations and planning. Even then, most of those documents
are not in electronic form. Then again, it is believed that the Chinese hackers
went after the NWC because their probes indicated that the cyber defenses there
were weaker than at other U.S. Navy installations. That makes sense, as the
navy deploys its Internet experts and security capabilities to where they will
do the most good (and protect the most valuable information.) What this attack
will do, however, is provide a lot of useful information, to American security
experts, on the state of the art within China's Cyber War forces.