CyberWar

Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability – CRS Report

The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability - CRS ReportIn September 2010, media reports emerged about a new form of cyber attack that appeared to target Iran, although the actual target, if any, is unknown. Through the use of thumb drives in computers that were not connected to the Internet, a malicious software program known as Stuxnet infected computer systems that were used to control the functioning of a nuclear power plant. Once inside the system, Stuxnet had the ability to degrade or destroy the software on which it operated. Although early reports focused on the impact on facilities in Iran, researchers discovered that the program had spread throughout multiple countries worldwide.

From the perspective of many national security and technology observers, the emergence of the Stuxnet worm is the type of risk that threatens to cause harm to many activities deemed critical to the basic functioning of modern society. The Stuxnet worm covertly attempts to identify and exploit equipment that controls a nation’s critical infrastructure. A successful attack by a software application such as the Stuxnet worm could result in manipulation of control system code to the point of inoperability or long-term damage. Should such an incident occur, recovery from the damage to the computer systems programmed to monitor and manage a facility and the physical equipment producing goods or services could be significantly delayed. Depending on the severity of the attack, the interconnected nature of the affected critical infrastructure facilities, and government preparation and response plans, entities and individuals relying on these facilities could be without life sustaining or comforting services for a long period of time. The resulting damage to the nation’s critical infrastructure could threaten many aspects of life, including the government’s ability to safeguard national security interests.

Iranian officials have claimed that Stuxnet caused only minor damage to its nuclear program, yet the potential impact of this type of malicious software could be far-reaching. The discovery of the Stuxnet worm has raised several issues for Congress, including the effect on national security, what the government’s response should be, whether an international treaty to curb the use of malicious software is necessary, and how such a treaty could be implemented. Congress may also consider the government’s role in protecting critical infrastructure and whether new authorities may be required for oversight.

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Cyberwar and Cyber-attack: How is our strongest network at risk of becoming our weakest link?

Cyberwar and Cyber-attack: How is our strongest network at risk of becoming our weakest link?Cyber war and cyber-attack is an engaging review of the basic knowledge all up to date readers should have about cyber war and cyber-attacks before diving into more complex texts, as well as extra information for those already familiar with the topic. This work takes a look at general issues involving cyber vulnerability and our growing dependency on computers systems and networks. It goes beyond simple concepts such as hackers, hacktivism and espionage without neglecting them. It exposes the relevance of cyberdefence to both companies and ordinary users, giving especial attention to e-commerce platforms. At a time that many countries are employing strategies and money to prevent or minimize attacks as well as defend themselves against cyber threats this work pinpoints the key factors around the intentions behind attacks without minimizing their scale and variety. The jargon-free language and the current examples included help to set the discussion in the present day, while stressing important historical connections and pointing to how our strong network is at risk of becoming our weakest link.

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Cyber Commander’s Handbook

Cyber Commander's HandbookThe global reliance on computers, networks and systems continues to grow. As our dependency grows so do the threats that target our military s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems as well as the operational components and electronic controls for our critical infrastructure. Over the past decade we have experienced a substantial rise in the complexity and sophistication of cyber attacks as well as a frightening increase in the impact of some of the attacks. Every computer is a potential cyber weapon waiting to be loaded and used by extremists, criminals, terrorists and rogue nation states. As the world becomes more and more dependent on computers and information technology, the greater the risk of cyber attacks. Government and military leaders now face this fact and our critical systems and infrastructure remain at great risk! This risk has made the ability to defend these critical systems and direct cyber attacks core capabilities required for the modern military. In the age of cyber conflict, leaders need to understand the weapons and strategies used to wage this rapidly evolving type of warfare. This handbook will provide the background needed to understand the new world of cyber warfare, define the tools and techniques for offensive and defensive action, and provide insight into the strategies behind building a dynamic and relevant cyber warfare capability.

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Spies Against Armageddon

Spies Against ArmageddonA powerful, vivid history of Israel’s intelligence services from the country’s independence in 1948, right up to Stuxnet and the current Middle East crises, describing the roots of both the triumphs and the screw-ups. Chapter 1 is titled “Stopping Iran,” focused on nuclear threats, and then readers are taken through the entire history.

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Counting from Zero

Counting from ZeroCan a security expert save the Internet from a catastrophic zero day cyber attack by a network of zombie computers, known as a botnet? At what cost?

“Credible and believable, this story is told by a subject matter expert. I could not wait to find out what happened next.”
Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer
“The threat to the Internet from worms, viruses, botnets, and zombie computers is real, and growing. Counting from Zero is a great way to come up to speed on the alarming state of affairs, and Johnston draws you in with his story and believable cast of characters.”
Phil Zimmermann, creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) the most widely used email encryption program
Today, every computer connected to the Internet is under constant attack from viruses, worms, port scans, and spam. Security professionals continually fight to contain newly unleashed cyber attacks, known as ‘zero day’ attacks, only to have new attacks launched. Millions of computers have already succumbed, and, without their owner’s knowledge, have become slave computers – remotely controlled ‘zombies’. Under the control of organized crime and backed by foreign governments, these computers are morphing into collections known in the industry as botnets, short for robot networks.
Internet security expert Mick O’Malley is the only one who recognizes the growing threat of the ultimate zero day attack on the Internet from a massive botnet, and his unique hacker skills and network of colleagues enable him to fight back. More cyber prep than cyber punk, Mick uses real-life tools and techniques to encrypt all his communications, and uses these skills to break the encryption used by the botnet. Mick uses encryption on a personal level, too, having multiple passports and multiple names and identities. While crisscrossing the globe in the air, on land, and at sea investigating the threat, Mick becomes the target of attacks on his reputation, his identity, and ultimately his life.
Along the way, Mick meets Kateryna Petrescu, a beautiful Romanian firewall expert. Mick’s attraction to Kateryna develops as they work closely together and share the excitement and danger. Why is the government following Mick and trying to intercept his communications? Can he stop the zero day attack before it is unleashed? What will be the cost to Mick for his single mindedness?
Unfolding across three continents, the new cybercrime mystery “Counting from Zero” gives a realistic insider’s view of the thrust and parry world of computer security and cryptography, and the very real threat of botnets.

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