Weekend: A Digital Pearl Harbor

Welcome to the Wealth Daily Weekend Edition— our insights from the week in investing and links to our most-read Wealth Daily and sister publication articles. From Sun Tzu to “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf, the goal of every military commander has always been pretty simple: to kill people and break things. Beat the other guy, and your name will find its way into the history books… The only thing that changes is the technology. From the longbow to the ballistic missile, the arms race is one that never sleeps. One of the fastest growing fronts in this struggle is in cyberspace. Today’s style of combat is geek versus geek. But don’t believe for a second that it’s not just as dangerous… Because while it doesn’t involve tanks or fighter squadrons, cyberwar’s ability to disrupt an enemy is just as effective, and often equally destructive. It’s war by other means — one that focuses on using computer code to strike an enemy’s Achilles’ heel. Full-scale cyberwar The recent discovery of a computer worm called Stuxnet is a perfect example of the damage a hacker armed with code can create. Using the “most advanced and aggressive malware in history,” cyberwarriors have now set Iran’s nuclear ambitions back by two years, according to most estimates. (Not surprisingly, Israel and the United States are at the top of the suspect list.) The worm itself attacked controllers critical to operations at Natanz, a sprawling enrichment site in Iran’s desert. As operators stared blankly at their screens, the bug’s centrifuges spun wildly out of control, tearing systems apart. “This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success,” said Ralph Langer, a top German Security expert. “It will take two years for Iran to get back on track.” This is only the latest cyber skirmish… Back in 2007, Estonia fell victim to what Wired Magazine dubbed “Web War One”. Hounded by three weeks of digital assaults, Estonia’s electronic Maginot Line proved as feeble as the original. The country’s firewalls withered as a flood of data sent by the nation’s unknown opponents quickly crashed one system after another, crippling numerous vital public services. Websites of government ministries, banks, and newspapers all fell victim. And while the rest of the world watched the attacks with a combination of curiosity and indifference, military planners…

Go here to see the original:
Weekend: A Digital Pearl Harbor

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *