Understanding Cyber warfare
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The security breach at Citigroup Inc., which lost personal information of 210,000 credit card customers to hackers, is just the latest of a string of cyber attacks on high-profile companies. The successful targets of hackers the past two months include data storage firm EMC Ltd, information technology provider Lockheed Martin, electronics giant Sony Corp., and search giant Google Inc . Google Inc . said the phishing attack on its Gmail accounts targeted, among others, senior U.S. government officials and Chinese political activists and journalists. The U.S. government is assessing if security had been compromised by the Gmail attack, which originated in China . Citigroup said hackers accessed the data of 1%, or estimated 210,000, bank card holders in North America and did not rule out the possibility of fraudulent charges on the accounts.
Barack Obama's decision to establish US Cyber Command shows the seriousness with which the Pentagon is treating cyberthreats. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images The last year has proved to be a game-changer in the perception of threats in cyberspace. Above all, the discovery of the computer worm Stuxnet alerted the world that cyber-weaponry capable of causing real havoc to advanced industrial systems is now a reality. Stuxnet was designed to interfere with a particular target: the so-called programmable logic controller regulating the speed of electric motors in plants that included two of Iran's nuclear facilities.
Cyber-warfare attacks, such as the targeting of activists' emails in China recently, are a growing threat, according to security experts. Photograph: PA Cyber-warfare attacks on military infrastructure, government and communications systems, and financial markets pose a rapidly growing but little understood threat to international security and could become a decisive weapon of choice in future conflicts between states, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies warned yesterday. IISS director-general John Chipman said: "Despite evidence of cyber attacks in recent political conflicts, there is little appreciation internationally of how to assess cyber-conflict. We are now, in relation to the problem of cyber-warfare, at the same stage of intellectual development as we were in the 1950s in relation to possible nuclear war."
"Cyberwar" is a heavily loaded term, which conjures up Hollywood inspired images of hackers causing oil refineries to explode. Some security celebrities came out very strongly against the thought of it, claiming that cyberwar was less science, and more science fiction. Last year on May 21, the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) reported reaching initial operational capability, and news stories abound of US soldiers undergoing basic cyber training , which all point to the idea that traditional super powers are starting to explore this arena.
Former chief counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke has warned about cyberwarfare Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images. Should we worry about cyberwarfare? Judging by excessively dramatic headlines in the media, very much so. Cyberwarfare, the argument goes, might make wars easier to start and thus more likely.
DDoS attacks are flying across the Internet like there is no tomorrow. Just a few days ago, a hacktivist operating under the handle “th3j35t3r” decided to single-handedly take down the Wikileaks website with a DoS tool of his ( or their ) own creation . He issued a statement on Twitter shortly after explaining that the attacks against the WikiLeaks website were made for “attempting to endanger the lives of our troops, ‘other assets’ & foreign relations.” According to our statistics, his attacks resulted in 1 day 3 hours and 50 minutes of downtime for WikiLeaks before the site was completely yanked offline by Amazon and EveryDNS . Note: Initiating a DDoS attack is illegal in many countries and we do not recommend that you participate in this or future campaigns.
In 1989 a group of US military analysts including William S. Lind , decided to conveniently ignore the rest of world history and look at evolution in armed conflict starting at a mere 100 years before the inception of the United States. Any biologist worth his salt will tell you that this is too small a sample to take an accurate measurement of such a lengthy ordeal as evolution, but for this article's sake I will digress. The resultant work of this team was published in the US Marine Corps Gazette and revolved around a 'generational' view to warfare, in which each evolution - dubbed a Generation - had distinct characteristics particular to that generation. In their article they describe four generations.
By Andrea Shalal-Esa WASHINGTON | Sun Nov 6, 2011 2:07pm GMT WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States should be more open about its development of offensive cyber weapons and spell out when it will use them as it grapples with an increasing barrage of attacks by foreign hackers, the former No. 2 uniformed officer in the U.S. military said.
I am not a lawyer, but to my mind cyber crime is committed by individuals, or groups, whereas cyber warfare is committed by governments. Does it matter? Not from a cyber defence point of view, but rather from the way it is played and the endgame. Dealing with cyber crime within a legal and regulatory framework means there are six potential endgame scenarios, depending on whether it is the result of an internal or external attack. These are: discipline, resignation, dismissal, civil prosecution, criminal prosecution, or make it go away. Although the last one may be viewed as morally wrong, it is often the easiest and cheapest from a company perspective.
This segment was first broadcast on Nov. 8, 2009. It was updated on June 10, 2010. Nothing has ever changed the world as quickly as the Internet has. Less than a decade ago, "60 Minutes" went to the Pentagon to do a story on something called information warfare, or cyber war as some people called it then. It involved using computers and the Internet as weapons.
Conservative blogger Iain Dale, left, and digital rights campaigner Jim Killock. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian This week saw the unprecedented escalation of hostilities between the US government and WikiLeaks , with hackers wading in to support the whistleblowing website by targeting companies - PayPal, MasterCard, Amazon – that had co-operated with US attempts to shut it down. Do these events signal a new era of information warfare?
18 April 2011 Last updated at 19:09 ET Most countries said they expected a cyber attack to disrupt energy supplies within the next two years Internet-based attacks on critical systems such as gas, power and water have increased around the world, a report suggests. Security firm McAfee surveyed 200 IT executives working for utility companies in 14 countries. Eight out of 10 said their networks had been targeted by hackers during the past year.