Cyber “Warfare”

A recent article published by the New York Times titled “2 Israeli web sites crippled as cyberwar escalate” describes several recent attacks placed against the Israeli (Tel Aviv) stock exchange and El Al (the national airline). These attacks were perpetrated by a single pro-Palestinian cyber criminal known as oxOmar. Furthermore, this is not the first type of attack against the Israeli people as this same hacker had previously posted credit information of more than twenty thousand Israeli citizens.

This got me to think a little more about our current standing in the world and how such attacks could be potentially more harmful and easier to orchestrate than standard warfare or terror attacks. Currently there are hundreds of cyber attacks against the U.S. government and large U.S. companies and corporations that occur on a daily basis. Most of the attacks are simply to gather very specific information or to exploit very specific vulnerabilities. In addition, the most serious of these attacks are typically only executed by a very small amount of people.

Briefly consider the potential consequences of a full-on attack backed by complete government funding and hundreds of hackers/attackers. The potential damage that could be done would be enough to cause serious problems to how both the government, and the economy function. The problem isn’t how secure our systems are but rather when will there will be a force with strong motivation to do harm and the funding to back it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/world/middleeast/cyber-attacks-temporarily-cripple-2-israeli-web-sites.html?_r=1

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One thought on “Cyber “Warfare”

  1. Though isn’t a major part of the problem that there was no thought for security when the systems were built then networked? What we have is a extremely complex system with components ranging from cutting edge to original copper wire, that most of which had been built with no eye for expansion or modernization and absolutely not comprehension of network security.

    A fair example might be our traffic system. Take a heavily traveled city that already has infrastructure overload, and then someone penetrates the traffic light control system. all it really would take is one person with the right equipment, know-how, and gaining the right access, and one might be able to tie up the city for days.

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