Wired is running a story about a recent security exercise in which the NSA attacked networks set up by various US military academies. The Army's network scored the highest, put together using Linux and FreeBSD by cadets at West Point. Quoting: "Even with a solid network design and passable software choices, there was an element of intuitiveness required to defend against the NSA, especially once it became clear the agency was using minor, and perhaps somewhat obvious, attacks to screen for sneakier, more serious ones. 'One of the challenges was when they see a scan, deciding if this is it, or if it's a cover,' says [instructor Eric] Dean. Spotting 'cover' attacks meant thinking like the NSA -- something Dean says the cadets did quite well. 'I was surprised at their creativity.' Legal limitations were a surprising obstacle to a realistic exercise. Ideally, the teams would be allowed to attack other schools' networks while also defending their own. But only the NSA, with its arsenal of waivers, loopholes, special authorizations (and heaven knows what else) is allowed to take down a U.S. network."
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