Stuxnet was just the beginning…

// Posted by on 03/18/2012 (8:42 PM)

I recently read an article from the Washington Post about the United States ramping up its efforts to create more cyberweapons. Not only does this give us an idea as to how the US values this type of weapon and its efforts to grow this program, it also provides more insight into how long a weapon such as Stuxnet could take to develop.

The article mentioned that the government is working on how to attack computers that are not even connected to the Internet, which to me is difficult to imagine, but apparently quite possible.

Many military officials are not satisfied with the current status of cyberweaponry because of the lack of control and potential widespread effects, the current inability to wipe out an entire system instead of just disabling certain parts, and the potential for it to be altered and used to attack the United States.

Do you believe that cyberweaponry is something into which the US government should be investing? Or should we continue with more of the normal types of attacks, with physical weapons?

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Allison said...

I am certainly frightened by the notion of turning towards cyber war to fight our battles. On the one hand I wonder if an increase in cyberwar war will decrease the number a fatalities on the field, but on the other hand couldn’t cyber interference affect even more people?! Maybe not death, but I can only image what the potential is. Maybe what I am afraid of is the fear of the unknown–the fear of my ignorance for what is possible. I think if that is the direction that countries are moving towards, then I do think it is necessary that we keep up with or be ahead of other countries. After all we are the America–the super power.

// 03/20/2012 at 3:30 pm

Renee said...

This article is really interesting to me because it really elaborates on one of Shirky’s important points. We can talk about whether cyber weapons is the right direction for us to move in or not but the discussion is kind of irrelevant because we are already there. Dr. Rosatelli pointed out in class today that we are under constant cyber attack from china, there has already been a semi-successfull cyber weapon, Stuxnet, and the U.S. is designing and most likely already using its own cyber weapons.

This also goes back to our talk about anonymity. It’s possible for someone, like the creator of Stuxnet, to create a cyberweapon, and no can figure out where it came from. The war-time implications of this are huge. We could attack another country and that country and the global community would never know it was us. We could be attacked and have no idea who did it. What if Pearl Harbor had been a cyber attack? We would have never known who did it and we would have never used the atomic bomb because we wouldn’t have known who to point it at.

Also, if anonymous trolling is the form of crime in the present century, whose to say that trolls cannot create complex cyberweapons. Actually, I think if anybody is going to create and use them its probably going to be the trolls. And looking at some of their past work, I’m scared of what kind of weapon they could create just for the lul1.2146

// 03/27/2012 at 11:44 pm