Every hacker worth 2 cents has claimed (legit or not) to have gained access to the CIA, FBI, Pentagon, or Whitehouse at some point. 99.9% of these have been hacking the public web site, or BBS in the early days. In neither case was anything remotely sensitive at risk unless someone from the inside made it so. The remaining 0.1% about 99% of them were people hacking an outlying network, or server, again not associated with isolated, internal communications. There have been a couple of complete legitimate hacks, but from what I heard, neither were prosecuted. In fact, both resulted in jobs.
Now some Chinese guys who spend all day in WoW say they got into the Pentagon. I say, ‘whatever’. If they did, it sure wasn’t the internal network. Most people on the outside have no idea how they isolate the network. Lets just say you can’t get there from here. The only way in, is through a computer on the inside.
It grabs headlines, and make more of a political statement, but the real fear isn’t some hacker on the Internet accessing a network with no ties to the Internet. The big fear is someone getting a job at the Pentagon, or at a subcontractor who has direct access to the DARPA network directly. Some times I just wish the media would hire someone who knows SOMETHING about computers, and networks before they run with a story about them.
Maybe I’m asking too much.