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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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Cyberwar 2001
By djcameron on 8/3/2006 11:53:14 AM , Rating: 1
You might want to change that to "Chinese fighter jet that collided with a US surveillance plane" since that's what happened.

RE: Cyberwar 2001
By jskirwin on 8/3/2006 12:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
I remember that I found one of the attacks at, of all places, one of the servers that handled med school applications. "Death to the imperialist hegemon Bush!" the owned site proclaimed, followed by a rant that most Democrats would no doubt agree with today.

The Chinese hackers really like that word "hegemon" a lot. I'll have to look it up in my English-Chinese dictionary someday...

Oh, I reported the site to the owner who quietly took the server offline. No mention was made to any of the thousands of med school applicants about the breakin...

RE: Cyberwar 2001
By joex444 on 8/6/2006 5:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
Hegemon isn't chinese, it comes from greek...

Imperialist hegemon, that's funny. Cuz hegemon means predomininant influence in a region, and imperialst, well, thats ruling a region. Pretty sure that's a case where xor works.

RE: Cyberwar 2001
By JackPack on 8/3/2006 2:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
Nope. He got that right.

RE: Cyberwar 2001
By giantpandaman2 on 8/3/2006 5:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
Who's at fault if a speedboat collides with a barge in the open ocean?

I'm guessing the speedboat.

RE: Cyberwar 2001
By jtesoro on 8/6/2006 10:44:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think X collided with Y is the same as Y collided with X. No fault is implied either way.

X crashed into Y is to me a bit different though.

I'm OK with the original wording.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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