Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Cyber Warfare 'Now a Reality'

Cyber warfare 'now a reality' with USA and Russia armed

According to The Telegraph, the Virtual Criminology Report released by technology security company, McAfee claims that cyber warfare is now moving from science fiction to fact. The US, France, Israel and China are among the countries known to have cyber weapon programmes, according to Paul Kurtz, the former White House adviser who complied the study based on interviews with more than 20 experts.

“McAfee began to warn of the global cyber arms race more than two years ago, but now we’re seeing increasing evidence that it’s become real,” said Dave Dealt, president of McAfee.“Now several nations around the world are actively engaged in cyber warlike preparations and attacks. Today, the weapons are not nuclear, but virtual, and everyone must adapt to these threats.”

The infrastructure of most developed nations is connected to the internet and vulnerable to hackers because of insufficient security controls, the report warns. The report identifies the following:

* Cyberwarfare is a Reality – Over the past year, the increase in politically motivated cyberattacks has raised alarm and caution, with targets including the White House, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service and Department of Defense in the U.S.
* Cyberweapons Are Targeting Critical Infrastructure – Attackers are not only building their cyberdefenses, but cyberoffenses, targeting infrastructure such as power grids, transportation, telecommunication, finance and water supplies, because damage can be done quickly and with little effort.
* Cyberwar is Undefined – Cyberwarfare entangles so many different actors in so many different ways that the rules of engagement are not clearly defined.

Another interesting piece of reading is this Rand report, on cyberdeterence prepared by Martin Libicki for the US Air Force. The blog cyberwarandlaw.com looks at many issues around cyber warfare. The front cover from Time Magazine links to a report from 1995, though this article from the same magazine states that 'fear of cyberwarfare' was the basis of Obama's visit to the country this month.

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