Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cyber-War

Cyberwarfare has become a very nasty business for most of the worlds governments in the past year or so. We can call remember the Russian cyber attacks on Estonia that rocked the NATO meetings held later that year. In that conflict Russian hackers had managed to shut most of Estonia's governmental websites down so that a large number of Estonians were locked out of the internet for a couple of days. Another past example of this type of cyber attack is the hacking of the naval department by Chinese hackers looking to gain access to American technology for their own military purposes. Supposedly the information might have helped China skip a whole generation of technology in its quest to catch up to the west.
This week MI5 released a report warning the top 300 Business's that they are under sustained Chinese cyber attack. According to the report most major business in Britain is being targeted by the Chinese military in hopes of attaining knowledge that would be advantageous to Chinese companies when dealing with the Brits. Most importantly this wasn't just some report released by a sub entity within the British intelligence service but it was a report personally filed by Jonathan Evans, the current head of MI5. This certainly adds a lot of weight to the accusation levied. According to the report China's army is trying all sorts of tactics to gain access to English companies confidential data.
Of course this is nothing new to the Americans. The military was only hacked last year and maybe some very secret information was acquired by unknown but suspected Chinese hackers. This year alone the United States has recorded 37,000 attempted breaches of government and private systems. Apparently the US Air Force has been placed in charge of cyber-defense as it currently has a 40,000 people set up to prepare for the next cyber-war.
This certainly raises some very interesting questions about he future of war. Especially since apparently military installations or government resources are not the only targets any more. With increased globalization it would seem that cyber attacks are increasingly occurring against private companies. However, all military should be well prepared for this new line of attack.

1 comment:

Spy Guy said...

I saw the former Chief Strategist of Netscape speak on Cyber Warfare at the SECTOR Conference in Toronto, What an eye opening experience. He stated that given the current cyber weapons race, a cyber war is all but a sure thing. He said "with evety tick of the clock we are one second closer to an all out cyber war." He also talked about a number of cyber weapons that are both software and hardware. The attack on Syria seem like a small skirmish compared to the massive cyber events in late 2007.