Cyber War – Wake up folks…it is (has been) here

“Can you imagine what cyber war may look like in the future?” “I usually respond, “Similar to the past…but worse.”

“The past?” most people reply. That’s right folks, cyber war is not a futuristic hypothesis. It’s already happened, is currently happening and will more than likely continue to appear in the news for the foreseeable future.

In 1997, the U.S. Government held one of the most notable “war games,” dubbed “Eligible Receiver,” in which the National Security Agency (NSA) acted as aggressors against other US Government organizations in order to identify weaknesses in the government’s cyber security posture. To shorten an otherwise long and depressing story, it did not turn out well for many government organizations. The NSA was able to penetrate and compromise many systems and components in the critical infrastructure. This exercise demonstrated something significant; we were (and still are) vulnerable to cyber-based attacks.

Were these exercises conducted because the U.S. Government saw the writing on the wall and wanted to determine how susceptible the United States was to a cyber attack? I would hope so. However, that was just an exercise. Let’s take a look at some real cyber war examples:

April 2007 – Estonia websites and government infrastructure succumb to denial of service attacks for 22 days

August 2008 – Russian forces disrupt Georgian government and business websites prior to invasion

December 2009 – Iraq militants use a $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept video streams transmitted between Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and ground units

June – December 2010 – Stuxnet worm identified as targeting malware for disrupting nuclear plant centrifuges; most likely a state-sponsored attack against Iran

The Future

With the reliance of cyber connectivity in our armed forces today, it is not hard to imagine a situation where cyber attacks could be used to cause mayhem, misdirection and loss of life on the battlefield. Consider a U.S. Command and Control station transmitting and receiving movement instructions to air or ground units on the battlefield. Now consider an enemy cyber warrior unit capturing those transmissions and redirecting U.S. units away from the intended target or even worse, sending instructions to attack other friendly U.S. units.

It is easy to see that there are certainly unlimited possibilities on the form cyber attacks may take in the future and their impact. Unfortunately, we should probably expect to see more. No tin foil hats here…just the facts.

via Cyber War – Wake up folks…it is (has been) here.

Posted by Rob Kraus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of the author. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided "as-is". The author shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.
%d bloggers like this: