The mission of this wiki is to make others aware of the concepts of Cyber-war and Cyber-terrorism. In sharing this information, others will be aware of the potential dangers of Cyber-war and Cyber-terrorism and notice other incidents that may occur.
Cyber War is defined simply as warfare in cyberspace. It includes harmful attacks on a nations military and civilians. Combining the use of cyberwarface tactics with conventional warfare is a potentially disastrous situation.
Cyberterroism is defined as the use of cyberspace to commit terroist attacks. This includes disruption of computers that can cause harm to humans such as stock exchanges, electronic power grids, first response systems, and many others.
Both Cyber war and cyber terroism can indirectly cause casualties, as well as cause a nation to lose confidence in those who provide them with the essentials that they need. One of the greatest threats to the Nation's security is a cyber war combined with real physical war actions.
What Could Happen
Potential examples of Cyber-terrorism: A cyberterrorist could hack into the computers of a food production facility, altering the levels of chemicals inserted into certain food products, sickening, and killing consumers who enjoy that particular item. A cyberterrorist could also hack into the computers of a pharmacuetical company and alter the forumulas of widely used medications. One could expect a huge loss of life before the exact problem has been identified, and a further delay while the medications were recalled. Depending on the medication, even more chaos could be created by thousands of citizens without medication they absolutely need. Think Insulin. Other potential examples include hacking into the network of a major airline and altering flight plans and disrupting communications between planes, both landing and taking off. Also, the power grid is an extremely vulnerable target.
China's military is developing technologies that may be used to destroy the United States' "net-centric" military. The Chinese now have anti-satellite weapons, ground-based lasers, and satellite communications jammers. They are gaining a frightening amount of information technology to increase their ability to destroy through cyber warfare. China has two strong cyber warfare capabilities. These are the ability to disable satellites and disrupt computer networks. These two things will most definitely give China a leg up on the United States military. Even though the Chinese don't have as sophisticated ships and aircraft as the United States, they have the computer technology to more than make up the difference. The Chinese performed a test in January of 2007. They fired a ground-based missile to destroy one of their own weather satellites that was out in orbit. In addition to their testing, they showed the rest of the world exactly what they were capable of. There are other countries, as well as some extremist groups, that are mastering the art of executing cyber attacks. China recently struck the Pentagon e-mail system, which was a wake up call for the United States. It is now known just how far China has come with their information technology.
What Has Happened
In May of 2007, Estonia came under the attack of cyber terrorists after a Soviet war memorial was moved. During the cyber attack many popular websites were flooded with spam email and other messages that tied up servers, bringing the sites completely offline. Estonia, one of the most wired countries in the world, depends on the Internet for its country to operate. All government is paperless and conducted on the Internet, including the Election of Parliament, as well as all bank services. Other targets for the attacks were the Estonian Foreign and Defense ministries, as well as leading newspapers. The political party website of Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was also attacked. The site was altered to feature a letter of apology for removing the memorial. Though the attacks came from servers all over the world, a number of the servers being used for the attacks were hosted within Russia. Attacks such as this are notoriously difficult to track since a botnet, a legion of infected computers under the control of a hacker, can span over several countries and continents.
In recent events China has been suspected of committing attacks of "cyber-espionage" against the U.K., Germany, and France. Cyber espionage can be defined as "probes to determine the nature of network systems". Though it seems that the attacks stemmed from China, it is difficult to determine exactly where they originated since the computers used could be comprised of a BotNet, or a group of computers that are hacked to perform the malicious instructions of the hacker. Through the use of a BotNet, the hacker could be located anywhere in the world. By hacking computers on, for example, a Korean network, a hacker in Japan could make it seem like Korea was responsible for the intrusions. This is one of the reasons that cyber warfare can be so difficult to combat; the attack could in all actuality have stemmed from anywhere in the world.
Though cyber espionage attacks have occured against the U.S. Government, it is unknown for sure who is responsible and who is aware of the scope of the problem in Washington. Alan Paller, director of the SANS Institute in Bethesda, M.D., says that "Government policies keep the attacks so secret that top government executives don't really know how bad the problem actually is."
Fortunately, the Department of Defense has started to expand its cyber warfare knowledge and capabilities. In April, the Defense Science Board released a statement saying "Adversaries need to be assured that their attacks against U.S. information systems will be detected, that U.S. functionality will be restored … and an adversary needs to know that the U.S. possesses powerful hard- and soft-kill [cyber warfare] means for attacking adversary information and command and support systems at all levels."
Methods of Defense Against Cyber Terroism
Critical functions in essential systems should not be controlled directly by software; there must be some form of manual control. This will disable a great amount of electronic breaching. For example, you must eliminate completely from software control a system's capability to be turned on or off. For example, the electricity for a company must have a manual on/off switch, so that it can not be shut off electronically. Also, all connections into a system must be physically controlled and monitored to prevent cyber infiltration.
Many security programs and precautions that protect systems from unauthorized use need to be taken. These include: Passwords and authentications, Anthropomorphic measures, Tokens, Multiple connection log-ons, Multiple log-on addresses, and Monitoring software.
The chief problem to gaining the offensive is the detection of cyber infiltration. Programs that need to be implemented to help stop and track hackers include: Password-cracking programs, Identification, location, sniffer, spoofing, and watcher programs, Attack programs, Tagging programs, Defense viruses, Direct manipulation, and Logic bombs. (cite to encyclopedia.com)
Basically the main way to help prevent cyberwar is to be ahead of other nations who could possibly attack. One of the only safeguards against cyber terroism is to us the latest technology to counteract the terroism. Extreme countermeasures must be fully ready to be implemented and our security system must constantly be updated and strengthened. New programs and software need to be a constant project.
The nature of the internet and computer technology alone is constantly changing. What is a top notch defense program one week may be next to obsolete the next week when compared to a new type of virus or attack protocol.
All computers also need to be protected on an individual level. Although it is virtually impossible to protect a regular citizen's computer, because it has connection to outside sources (unlike the military whos machines have no outside connection) precautions should still be taken, as every little bit helps. Simple tools, such as encryption, firewalls, and anti-virus programs such as Spyware.
"Berwin, B. (2007, 10 01). Cyber Wars. Government Executive , pp. 16-17."
"CyberWar." PBS Frontline. 24 Apr 2003. PBS. 14 Nov 2007
Traynor, Ian. "Russia accused of unleashing cyberwar to disable Estonia." The Guardian 17 May 2007 14 Nov 2007
"Estonia hit by Moscow Cyber War" BBC News 17 May 2007
"Fierce Cyber War Predicted" CNN 03 Mar 2003
"CyberWar Nightmare" StrategyPage 29 Aug 2006
Dalaal, Praveen "Cybercrime and cyberterrorism: Preventive defense for cyberspace violations" Computer Crime Research Center 10 Mar 2006
Alford Jr., Lionel D. "Cyber Warfare: Protecting Military Systems" Acquisition Review Quarterly 22 Mar 2000
Collin, Barry C. "Where physical and virtual worlds converge" 11th annual symposium on criminal justice issues
Bennett, John "USAF: Cyber War needs New Laws, Not More Money" 10 Oct 2007
Matthews, William "Pentagon: China Developing New Cyber War Capabilities" 13 Jun 2007