Cyberwarfare (Cyber War Definition or Cyber Attack Definition – sometimes written in error as Cyber War Fare) can be defined as actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation’s computers, networks, and information systems for the purposes of causing damage or disruption. This damage and destruction can range from tactical to strategic impacts.
With the focus on effects from Cyber War being “all the rage” these days this little gem from 1983 highlights one of the major inflection points where we had the opportunity to do something about the cyber vulnerabilities that have now grown exponentially while becoming exponentially more difficult and costly to correct. The movie which demonstrates hacking and phreaking (and accidentally nearly starting Global Thermonuclear War) is a must see. I’m not sure you can aspire to be A Cyber Fellow without owning WarGames (or at least having watched it several hundreds of times). Right now you can pick up a copy on Blu-ray for $7.99.
For those striking to become a Cyber Warrior I definitely recommend checking out this flick and adding it to your list of movies with cyber warfare. Once you watch the movie I recommend enjoying the a few rounds of the game at the Global Thermonuclear War site. Enjoy!
I happened across the Ocean’s Trilogy (Ocean’s Eleven / Ocean’s Twelve / Ocean’s Thirteen) [Blu-ray]
deal for $13.99 that Amazon has today and remembered the “Pinch” in Ocean’s Eleven. It also reminded me of one of the discussion points of the recent Security Jam in which I participated. So with that let’s take a look at a real “Pinch.”
“Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is an instantaneous, intense energy field that can overload or disrupt at a distance numerous electrical systems and high technology microcircuits, which are especially sensitive to power surges. A large scale EMP effect can be produced by a single nuclear explosion detonated high in the atmosphere. This method is referred to as High-Altitude EMP (HEMP). A similar, smaller-scale EMP effect can be created using non-nuclear devices with powerful batteries or reactive chemicals. This method is called High Power Microwave (HPM).” – Clay Wilson (report above)
One of the discussion topics argued that an EMP was a Cyber Weapon; I completely disagree. With that said the following is a quick excerpt of my comments on that argument:
I’d like to point out that previous attacks on Cyberspace have come from the physical medium and will continue to come mainly from that environment, in a Military context, more often than not. A 500lb kinetic bomb on the power station and backup generators will create a similar effect on a targeted aspect of Cyberspace. An EMP weapon would be just as difficult to use as a Cyberspace based weapon. The boundaries of an EMP weapon’s effect are not easily identifiable, the verification of the desired result difficult to determine, and when used poorly can create significant 2nd and 3rd order detrimental effects.
I would list an EMP in the Electronic Warfare (EW) arsenal with potential and probable Cyberspace effects. Justification for this would be that much of the Cyberspace focus is on Computer Network Attack, Exploitation, and Defense. An EMP weapon will have significant ramification on the infrastructure to conduct these missions but will also wreak havoc on the Electromagnetic Spectrum.
A focus on adding an EMP capability to the arsenal would foster and require the continued development and implementation of hardened electronic suites. This is extremely costly and would require reviews of both the DoD infrastructure as well as the National Critical Infrastructure to determine hardening requirements.
EMP is an EW weapon with Cyberspace effects. A Cyberspace weapon comes from within Cyberspace. Try not to blur the lines simply because Cyber is the popular term of the moment.
So what do you think?
[Report via FAS]