DIGITAL AMERICA

Cyberwarfare

// Posted by on 05/28/2015 (12:41 PM)

When I think about the culture that envisioned the Internet they essentially developed it as an information-sharing system and in essence devoted little thought to securing the network. Their focus was on functionality, reliability, and information transfer and not on the potential misdeeds of criminals and terror organizations that might seize control of computers and direct them to nefarious purposes.

I have to admit that much of these articles were beyond my understanding of computer language and code talk. The phrase Cyberwarfare, is a new term for me. I am familiar with computer viruses and malware and their use to hijack computers and steal information. But the use of viruses to physically destroy something in the real world sounds like something out of a sci-fi thriller.

After reading about all the surveillance that is going on to garner knowledge about everything, it is really not that surprising that the information is being used in this way. I am curious to know if this was the intention of the surveillance or a side effect. It is astounding to think about the amount of work and information that was needed to create these digital weapons and the potential impact of this type of Cyberwarfare is shocking and a bit terrifying.

The capacity to assault important systems exists everywhere and could possibly cripple our whole society, as it is extremely reliant on cyber information.  A vicious cyber attack on the civilian population would certainly be devastating and could potentially include the corruption of data, supply chain corruption leading to shortages of food, water, and fuel. This could and most likely would cripple Americans and send us back into the dark ages where there is no electricity, money, communication, TV, Internet, or transportation. While this type of warfare means that no bombs will be going off, in terms of disrupting societies, the impact of this type of conflict does have the potential to be more devastating.

So with all the surveillance that is going on, should the government play some role in preventing cyber attacks? Should they help to prevent, trace, or repel the attacks? Should they take retaliatory measures? Or is this a private matter left up to the companies that are affected? When do the cyber attacks cross into the realm of diplomacy or national security?


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Comments:


Rosatelli said...

Hi Jessie,

You ask some important questions at the end of your post–I encourage you to attempt to answer them! The government works tirelessly to prevent cyberattacks on government systems. A few years ago, it was discovered that the Chinese government was consistently attacking us, although we have suspected it for some time (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/05/06/181669131/pentagon-chinas-government-hacked-u-s-networks). Private companies are constantly fighting of hackers from foreign nations to hope to steal company secrets. It’s a constant barrage of attacks from all over the place. Your final question is perhaps the most pressing: when does this cross into the realm of the nation state? The Stuxnet article made this distinction really clear, and I encourage you to go back and think about your question in relation to that case study!

// 05/29/2015 at 9:21 pm

Kaitlyn said...

It is scary to think about how much we rely on the Internet to do basic day-to-day tasks. It seems that each day people are becoming more dependent on the Internet because of technological advancements. I can say that I rely on the Internet for a lot of my activities. So if we were to get a cyber attack I would loose a lot of valuable work and information. I think that the government already tries to keep ahead of cyber attacks which is why they are spying on people all around the world…

// 05/29/2015 at 9:24 pm