Anonymous got lucky. When five of its hackers attacked security company HBGary Federal on February 6, 2011, they were doing so in order to defend the group’s privacy. It wasn’t because they hoped to reveal plans to attack WikiLeaks, create surveillance cells targeting pro-union organizations, and sell sophisticated rootkits to the US government for use as offensive cyber weapons—but that’s what they found.
In the weeks after the attack, the hackers released tens of thousands of e-mail messages and made headlines around the world. Aaron Bar, the CEO of HBGary Federal, eventually resigned; 12 Congressman called for an investigation; an ethics complaint was lodged against a major DC law firm involved with some of the more dubious plans.
Join Ars' editors as they dig into the secret world of Anonymous and hackers for hire in Unmasked.
In 2011, amid the popular uprising against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the government sought in vain to shut down the Internet-based social networks of its people.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been branded “public enemy number one” by some in the United States for posting material on the World Wide Web that concerns airstrikes in Iraq, US diplomatic communications, and other sensitive matters.
In Wiki at War, James Jay Carafano explains why these and other Internet-born initiatives matter and how they are likely to affect the future face of war, diplomacy, and domestic politics.
“The war for winning dominance over social networks and using that dominance to advantage is already underway,” Carafano writes in this extremely timely analysis of the techno-future of information and the impact of social networking via the Internet. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of history and defense strategy, Carafano creates a cogent analysis of what is truly new about the “new media,” and what is simply a recasting of human warfare in contemporary forms.
Wiki at War is written in a lively, accessible style that will make this technological development comprehensible and engaging for general readers without sacrificing the book’s usefulness to specialists. Outlining the conditions under which a difference in degree becomes a difference in kind, detailing how ancient wisdom can still apply to national security decisions, and examining the conditions under which new expertise is required to wage effective diplomacy or successful military strategy, Carafano casts in stark relief the issues that face political, military, and social leaders in trying to manage and control information, in both the international and domestic arenas. Wiki at War affords stimulating thought about and definitive discussion of this vital emerging topic.
A former top-level National Security Agency insider goes behind the headlines to explore America's next great battleground: digital security. An urgent wake-up call that identifies our foes; unveils their methods; and charts the dire consequences for government, business, and individuals.
Shortly after 9/11, Joel Brenner entered the inner sanctum of American espionage, first as the inspector general of the National Security Agency, then as the head of counterintelligence for the director of national intelligence. He saw at close range the battleground on which our adversaries are now attacking us-cyberspace. We are at the mercy of a new generation of spies who operate remotely from China, the Middle East, Russia, even France, among many other places. These operatives have already shown their ability to penetrate our power plants, steal our latest submarine technology, rob our banks, and invade the Pentagon‘s secret communications systems.
Incidents like the WikiLeaks posting of secret U.S. State Department cables hint at the urgency of this problem, but they hardly reveal its extent or its danger. Our government and corporations are a “glass house,” all but transparent to our adversaries. Counterfeit computer chips have found their way into our fighter aircraft; the Chinese stole a new radar system that the navy spent billions to develop; our own soldiers used intentionally corrupted thumb drives to download classified intel from laptops in Iraq. And much more.
Dispatches from the corporate world are just as dire. In 2008, hackers lifted customer files from the Royal Bank of Scotland and used them to withdraw $9 million in half an hour from ATMs in the United States, Britain, and Canada. If that was a traditional heist, it would be counted as one of the largest in history. Worldwide, corporations lose on average $5 million worth of intellectual property apiece annually, and big companies lose many times that.
The structure and culture of the Internet favor spies over governments and corporations, and hackers over privacy, and we've done little to alter that balance. Brenner draws on his extraordinary background to show how to right this imbalance and bring to cyberspace the freedom, accountability, and security we expect elsewhere in our lives.
In America the Vulnerable, Brenner offers a chilling and revelatory appraisal of the new faces of war and espionage-virtual battles with dangerous implications for government, business, and all of us.
AFDD 3-12 is the US Air Force’s foundational doctrine publication for Air Force operations in, through, and from the cyberspace domain. It defines Cyberspace Superiority and speaks to US Air Force support of maintaining Cyberspace Superiority, a common military function.
“Today, we live in a globally-networked society that is increasingly dependent upon cyberspace access and security. Our ability to gain and maintain superiority in cyberspace has become essential to our ability to deliver global reach, power, and vigilance. As an integral member of the joint warfighting team, the Air Force is committed to growing, sustaining, and presenting highly skilled and well-equipped forces to joint force commanders who can deliver decisive effects in, from, and through cyberspace, while assuring our mission against an asymmetric cyber threat.
Freedom of action in the cyberspace domain enables our command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Our modern defenses, industrial base, and global commerce, as well as that of our nation’s enemies, depend on free use of land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace. Leverage in cyberspace affords influence and control across all other domains. This leverage increases our forces’ access, speed, reach, stealth, and precision.
Controlling the portions of cyberspace integral to our mission is a fundamental prerequisite to effective operations across the range of military operations. While we appreciate the power that cyber-enabled capabilities add, we also maintain a healthy respect for the asymmetric power that cyberspace affords our adversaries. We must maintain a constant commitment to educate, train, and equip our Airman to prevail in the contested domain of cyberspace.
In the past decade, technological advances have provided the means to generate decisive and magnified effects in domains that traditionally could only be achieved via kinetic means. We must continually adapt our operating concepts to leverage emerging cyberspace capabilities to ensure the Air Force maintains the decisive advantage over our adversaries.”
MAURICE H. FORSYTH
Major General, USAF
Commander, LeMay Center for Doctrine
Development and Education
Chapters: Wikileaks, Whistleblower Week in Washington, Murder in Samarkand, Touch All Policy, the Ridenhour Prizes. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 41. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Wikileaks is a Sweden-based organization that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive documents from governments and other organizations, while preserving the anonymity of their sources. Its website, launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press. The organization has stated it was founded by Chinese dissidents, as well as journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the U.S., Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Newspaper articles describe Julian Assange, an Australian journalist and Internet activist, as its director. Within a year of its launch, the site said its database had grown to more than 1.2 million documents. It has won a number of new media awards for its reports. Citing fundraising problems, Wikileaks temporarily suspended all operations other than submission of material in December 2009. Material that was previously published is no longer available, although some can still be accessed on unofficial mirrors. Wikileaks said it would resume full operation once the operational costs were covered, and on 3 February 2010 it announced that its minimum fundraising goal had been achieved. The site's archive came back online in May 2010. Wikileaks went public in January 2007, when it first appeared on the web. The site states that it was “founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa”. The creators of Wikileaks were unidentified as of January 2007, although it has been represented in public since January 2007.