So often because CNE and CNA are really only a few keystrokes away ("rm -rf /", for example), people want to say "Hospitals" are not valid targets for CNE, or "power plants" are not valid targets for CNE, or any number of things they've labeled as critical for various purposes.
But the reason you hack a hospital is not to booby trap an MRI machine, but because massive databases of ground truth are extremely valuable. If I have the list of everyone born in Tehran's hospitals for the last fifty years, and they try to run an intelligence officer with a fake name and legend through Immigration, it's going to stand out like a sore thumb.
The same thing is true with hacking United. Not only are the records in and out of Dulles airport extremely valuable for finding people who have worked with the local federal contractors but doing large scale analysis of traffic amounts lets you guesstimate at budget levels and even figure out covert program subjects. People look at OPM and they see only the first order of approximation of the value of that kind of large database. Who cares about the clearance info if you can derive greater things from it?
The Bumble and Tinder databases would be just as useful. If you are chatting with a girl overseas, and she says she doesn't have a Bumble/Tinder account, and you're in the national security field, you're straight up talking to an intelligence officer. And it's hard to fake a profile with a normal size list of matches and conversations...
And, of course, hacking critical infrastructure and associated Things of the Internet allows for MASINT, even on completely civilian infrastructure. People always underestimate MASINT for some reason. It's not sexy to count things over long periods of time, I guess.
Also, it's a sort of hacker truism that eventually all networks are connected so sometimes you hack things that seem nonsensical to probe for ways into networks that are otherwise heavily monitored.
|I highly recommend this book. Sociology is turning into a real science right before our eyes...as is intelligence.|