Print 55 comment(s) - last by The Boston Dan.. on Aug 7 at 8:19 PM

The largest cyberwar to date is quietly brewing, and the participants are not necessarily limited to the Middle East

The Internet is a powerful tool that is once again being used as a propaganda machine by groups not happy with Israel's invasion of Lebanon, and vice versa.  A number of US government web sites have been targeted by cracking groups.  The latest victim has been NASA who was attacked by a Chilean group of crackers.  With the seriousness of the situation in the Middle East escalating, security experts expect further attacks to be made on Israeli and American computer servers.

So far, NASA, University of California, Berkeley, various government web sites and Microsoft have been targeted.  Unfortunately, the fifty or so machines publically compromised last week are just the tip of the iceberg.  These systems are just peripheral to the amount of Israeli and Arabic computers under attack, but both sides are doing their best to conceal the extent of the attacks.

Hackers from both China and the US have occasionally sparred with one another since early 2001.  The initial cyberwar started after a US spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet in April of 2001.  Thousands of web sites in China and the United States were subject to defacements and hacker attacks for over a month -- and thus earned conflict the title of the first major cyberwar.

The difference between the Sino-American Cyberwar of 2001 is that governments from all sides are participating a bit more, and damages are considerably higher as well.  Lebanese newspapers report that the major Hezbollah-backed TV and radio stations have been compromised, and that whoever has retained control of these outlets is now broadcasting messages that Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah is a liar.  PCs compromised in Europe and Russia have been used to send anti-Semitic and anti-Arabic hate mail.  Israeli-based denial of service attacks against Hamas and Hezbollah websites have effectively crippled portions of the internet infrastructure on both sides of the conflict.

Digital warfare is certainly a component of modern warfare today: electronics espionage and jamming are almost as old as electronics themselves.  This new facet of digital sabotage is another story altogether, with digital warriors partaking from the comfort of their own cable modem virtually side-by-side with government intelligence agencies hacking and counter-hacking the same targets. 

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RE: heh
By creathir on 8/3/2006 10:50:55 AM , Rating: 3
I would take wikipedia articles with a grain of salt... especially when trying to spell something properly. (He is refering to the transliteration of the word)

- Creathir

RE: heh
By Knish on 8/3/2006 5:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
Still, I haven't seen a single person here, including the original poster, throw around the "proper" spelling

RE: heh
By Tyler 86 on 8/4/2006 8:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't be Hizbulla would it?
... and "Shi'a" as Shite? ...

RE: heh
By Tyler 86 on 8/4/2006 8:46:17 AM , Rating: 2
... give or take an 'h'.

It's been Americanized, a common practice where people with less-than-American names like Enrique suddenly become a thrashing mix of Enrique and Ricky in the public eye unless the owner of the name explicitly says an alternative pronunciation is wrong...

I like Americanization. Rock on.

Hey! Frickin' Hezbollah are the reason why Daily Tech eats my posts! This means war! ... but you knew that, from the title of the article, of course.

RE: heh
By Samus on 8/4/2006 6:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
wow they let you write shite on here.

RE: heh
By masher2 on 8/4/2006 9:43:16 AM , Rating: 2
> "Still, I haven't seen a single person here, including the original poster, throw around the "proper" spelling"

Quite simply because, unless you're writing it in Arabic characters, there is no "proper" spelling.

RE: heh
By oTAL on 8/5/2006 10:16:19 PM , Rating: 3
Man.... I was reading your post and I was making a jon stewart "WHA-?" face...
You gotta be joking... so you mean that there is no correct spelling for Arabic, Hebraic, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian words, just because they use another alphabet? Maybe every newspaper in the world should start writing Al-Qaeda in Arabic or not writing it at all....

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