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Cyberspace is all around us. We depend on it for everything we do. We have reengineered our business, governance, and social relations around a planetary network unlike any before it. But there are dangers looming, and malign forces are threatening to transform this extraordinary domain.
In Black Code, Ronald J. Deibert, a leading expert on digital technology, security, and human rights, lifts the lid on cyberspace and shows what’s at stake for Internet users and citizens. As cyberspace develops in unprecedented ways, powerful agents are scrambling for control. Predatory cyber criminal gangs such as Koobface have made social media their stalking ground. The discovery of Stuxnet, a computer worm reportedly developed by Israel and the United States and aimed at Iran’s nuclear facilities, showed that state cyberwar is now a very real possibility. Governments and corporations are in collusion and are setting the rules of the road behind closed doors. Continue reading “Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace”
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The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 deals with cyber warfare in general bringing out the unique characteristics of cyber space, the recent cyber attack on Estonia and the Stuxnet attack on Iranian Nuclear facilities, how the established Principles of War can be applied in cyberspace, cyber strategy of US and China, offensive and defensive aspects of cyber warfare cyber deterrence and the new challenge facing the militaries the world over- leadership in cyber domain. Part 2 is devoted to the Indian context. It discusses in detail the impact of ICT on the life of an ordinary Indian citizen, the cyber challenges facing the country and the implications for the Indian Armed Forces. A few recommendations have been summarised in the end.
With billions of computers in existence, cyberspace, ‘the virtual world created when they are connected,’ is said to be the new medium of power. Computer hackers operating from anywhere can enter cyberspace and take control of other people’s computers, stealing their information, corrupting their workings, and shutting them down. Modern societies and militaries, both pervaded by computers, are supposedly at risk. As Conquest in Cyberspace explains, however, information systems and information itself are too easily conflated, and persistent mastery over the former is difficult to achieve.
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Cyber Blockades is the first book to examine the phenomena of blockade operations in cyberspace, large-scale attacks on infrastructure or systems that aim to prevent an entire state from sending or receiving electronic data. Cyber blockades can take place through digital, physical, and/or electromagnetic means. Blockade operations have historically been considered acts of war, thus their emergence in cyberspace has significant implications for international law and for our understanding of cyber warfare.
The author defines and explains the emerging concept of “cyber blockades” and presents a unique comparison of blockade operations in five different domains—on land, at sea, in the air, in space, and in cyberspace—identifying common elements as well as important distinctions. Alison Lawlor Russell’s framework for defining cyber blockades, understanding how they occur, and considering the motivations of actors who employ them is applied with in-depth analysis of the cyber attacks on Estonia in 2007 and on Georgia during the 2008 Georgia-Russia War. Continue reading “Cyber Blockades”
The United States, our allies, and our partners face a spectrum of challenges, including violent transnational extremist networks, hostile states armed with weapons of mass destruction, rising regional powers, emerging space and cyber threats, natural and pandemic disasters, and a growing competition for resources. The Department of Defense must respond to these challenges while anticipating and preparing for those of tomorrow. We must balance strategic risk across our responses, making the best use of the tools at hand within the U.S. Government and among our international partners. To succeed, we must harness and integrate all aspects of national power and work closely with a wide range of allies, friends and partners. We cannot prevail if we act alone.
As noted in the 2006 QDR, state actors no longer have a monopoly over the catastrophic use of violence. Small groups or individuals can harness chemical, biological, or even crude radiological or nuclear devices to cause extensive damage and harm. Similarly, they can attack vulnerable points in cyberspace and disrupt commerce and daily life in the United States, causing economic damage, compromising sensitive information and materials, and interrupting critical services such as power and information networks. National security and domestic resources may be at risk, and the Department must help respond to protect lives and national assets. The Department will continue to be both bulwark and active protector in these areas. Yet, in the long run the Department of Defense is neither the best source of resources and capabilities nor the appropriate authority to shoulder these tasks. The comparative advantage, and applicable authorities, for action reside elsewhere in the U.S. Government, at other levels of government, in the private sector, and with partner nations. DoD should expect and plan to play a key supporting role in an interagency effort to combat these threats, and to help develop new capacities and capabilities, while protecting its own vulnerabilities.
In the contemporary strategic environment, the challenge is one of deterring or dissuading a range of potential adversaries from taking a variety of actions against the U.S. and our allies and interests. These adversaries could be states or non-state actors; they could use nuclear, conventional, or unconventional weapons; and they could exploit terrorism, electronic, cyber and other forms of warfare. Economic interdependence and the growth of global communications further complicate the situation. Not only do they blur the types of threats, they also exacerbate sensitivity to the effects of attacks and in some cases make it more difficult to attribute or trace them. Finally, the number of potential adversaries, the breadth of their capabilities, and the need to design approaches to deterrence for each, create new challenges.
An underlying assumption in our understanding of the strategic environment is that the predominant near-term challenges to the United States will come from state and non-state actors using irregular and catastrophic capabilities. Although our advanced space and cyber-space assets give us unparalleled advantages on the traditional battlefield, they also entail vulnerabilities.
China is developing technologies to disrupt our traditional advantages. Examples include development of anti-satellite capabilities and cyber warfare. Other actors, particularly non-state actors, are developing asymmetric tactics, techniques, and procedures that seek to avoid situations where our advantages come into play.