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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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RE: heh
By Tyler 86 on 8/4/2006 9:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
Arbitrarily repositioning the battlefields in number by discovery, I present to you this angle;

Before there was any battle at all, there was what started the battle; Propaganda is the '0th' battlefield.
It consists of any media outlet; TV, Radio, Newspapers, the Internet (explicitly 'the Web'), that is the majority of the current 'cyberwar', and is the most visible portion of any war.

Space is the 5th. The first battle upon it was simply of firsts... first man in space, first man on the moon, etc...

The 7th battlefield goes to information technology, seperate from 'the internet' - satellites, internal networks, electronic surveillance, guidance, security...
DEFCON & other 'hackathons' focus on that battlefield.
Engaging an enemy on that battlefield is much harder to do, and observing it is even harder. We only see glimpses of it publicly, such as the spy plane incident.

The CIA covers the majority of the 7th battlefield warfare, although there are other specialized government divisions as well.

This 'cyberwar' is mostly an propaganda war, not a ' real cyberwar'.

RE: heh
By Tyler 86 on 8/4/2006 9:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
Dammit, I left out religion...
5th is Religion... a major manipulable source in the middle east... The Crusades, Jihad, etc...
Space is the 6th...

Damn the cyberwar, this makes the 4th time I've had to retype this crap... Frickin "Oops!"... makes it so much harder to keep a constant train of thought.

RE: heh
By Tyler 86 on 8/4/2006 9:09:23 AM , Rating: 2
Religion is actually a subset of Ideology, which I would say would be the 5th battleground... it's seperate from propaganda in that it is playing on morality instead of authority...

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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