Information Warfare: February 23, 2002

Archives

Even the "invisible Internet" is at risk, and this is more of a military peril than most other Internet vulnerabilities. For years it was thought that the routers that invisibly (to users, anyway) kept everything on the net moving efficiently, were safe. But in early 2002 it was discovered that for ten years there had been a serious flaw in router software that made it possible for someone with the right skills to shut down routers, or gain control over it. Black hat hackers have often discussed taking down an entire country's Internet. This is their idea of a prank. India and China are often mentioned. Both of these countries have relatively small Internet infrastructure, plus there are cultural issues. A lot of American programmers are a bit miffed at the many lower paid (but highly skilled) Indian programmers "taking American jobs." Indian programmers who immigrate to the United States often end up in senior positions (or starting their own companies) by dint of hard work and superior skills. This upsets some of the locals, so the idea of taking down Indian Internet is a popular day dream. But these recently discovered router vulnerabilities make such fantasies closer to reality. China doesn't send nearly as many programmers to the United States, but the programmers back in China are a nationalistic lot and there are regular skirmishes between American and Chinese hackers. Taking down the Chinese Internet, if only for a few days, is seen as the ultimate "can you top this" Internet hack. For cyberwarriors, the ability to knock out, or take control of, selected portions of the Internet has real military value. Before the early 2002 SNMP problems were discovered, it was already recognized that the routers and DNS servers were vulnerable. But the SNMP problem provides the malicious hacker with a more precise weapon.

 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
$0
$2500

Don't Let Us Go Up In Smoke!

January, February and March are notoriously low ad revenue months online. And StrategyPage has not been spared. We need to raise $2500 in combined subscriptions and contributions to keep us moving forward.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close