Intel fusion is the process of putting together disparate—often widely disparate—bits of information, from a wide variety of sources, to achieve a larger, coherent picture of various goings-on (and to rule out as truly unrelated some of those bits).
We’ve had in our recent past (as far as is being discovered by the public) a number of not too disparate, but seemingly relatively trivial on an individual basis, hacks by the People’s Republic of China of lower level US government agencies. They’ve hacked, for instance, our weather systems and satellite network, corporate email networks, the Federal government’s OPM computers, the White House’s computer networks, state and Federal level DMV databases, and on and on.
Often, the hacks really are directly useful: they get intellectual property, proprietary financial information, defense secrets, and so on.
But these hacks, rather their entry points, also represent windows into the government house—the Chinese sneak into our house through a variety of windows, since the front (and maybe back) doors are more or less locked.
What does fusion say about these disparate hacks? Are they just random probes? Pokings around to see what’s what or to see what they can get away with? Or, what’s getting planted in the way of malware that, once through the window, moves along, penetrating more deeply, perhaps proliferating? Once past the outer firewalls (the software version of a house’s locked entryways), what thefts are being set up for future use, what Stux-like sabotage is being prepared for future mid-crisis execution?
Maybe nothing. Maybe….
I’d rather be foolishly paranoid, though, than innocent and vulnerable.