Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cyber War, Part 1

The past few weeks have witnessed, obvious to anyone not living in a cave, a relentless increase in the number and success of "hacking" activities aimed at U.S. corporations.  This heightened activity made me dust off and re-read Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by Richard A. Clarke, one of the West's foremost authorities on cyber security.  Clarke served in the White House under 4 presidents and left in 2003, disgusted with the policies of George W. Bush.  He has been the target of a right-wing smear campaign ever since, although he may know more about cyber war than anyone else in Washington.  He writes "On October 1, 2009, a general took charge of the new U.S. Cyber Command, a military organization with the mission to use information technology and the Internet as a weapon.  Similar commands exist in Russia, China, and a score of other nations.  These military and intelligence organizations are preparing the cyber battlefield with things called "logic bombs" and trapdoors", placing virtual explosives in other countries in peacetime.  Given the unique nature of cyber war, there may be incentives to go first.  The most likely targets are civilian in nature."  The reason for this, Clarke explains, is that almost all critical U.S. infrastructure (railroads, electrical grids, etc.) are owned by large corporations.  I suggest you check this book out of your local library and read it.