Information Warfare: June 11, 2003

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: Since September 11, 2001, the threat of cyberwar has been prominent in the press. Statistics of attacks are often quoted, but when you look behind these stats of attacks and damage done, you realize that there is no there there. The government has no mandatory reporting of cyberwar incidents and the consulting firms that collect and publish such data will admit, when pressed, that their data comes from small, unreliable and misleading samples. Not that there isn't danger out there in InternetLand. There is. This is known from the frequent reports of tests on Internet defenses, and the frequent ease with which "secure" servers are breached. But cyberwar is another matter. In "The Next War Zone" book, the parameters for an actual cyberwar were laid out and it quickly becomes obvious that the resources needed to make a meaningful attack are far more than any nation or gang of hackers now has. Moreover, the defense is not without resources, as has been shown in the speed with which nearly all attacks on the Internet have been dealt with. The major problem is that no one seems to know exactly where all of the battlefield is, who has what weapons and exactly what those weapons can do. The first one to sort all of that out will have real potential for making meaningful attacks on the Internet. But so far, the only weapons appear to be fear and speculation.

 

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