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posted on Feb, 21 2005 @ 05:07 PM
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How would an information attack targeted against the US proceed. Would businesses be the focus or would strategic targets such as nucleur power plants and oil refineries be the hardest hit? Who would also be the most capable and likely to do it? Does HAMAS or Al-Qaueda have intellect to do it? Or would it be a nation like China or Iran?

*Fixed Caps Lock Title*

[edit on 21-2-2005 by dbates]




posted on Feb, 21 2005 @ 05:50 PM
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I think Law Enforcements biggest fear is the electrical grid, but it's more vulnerable to conventional sabotage than anything else.

If a large scale war was supplemented with hackers on both sides attacking each others networks and support, the first targets would likely be 'soft'; civilian contractors and low level information architecture like the FBI's Agent Support Networks. Business would be a target, stock markets would be a target. Banks would be an especially big target, as would nuisance attacks like subway signal/traffic light/streelight networks. Imagine how hard it would be to organize a defense of your city if the traffic lights were going nuts, the mass transportation effectively stopped, and the street lights were strobing, blowing themselves out and putting a huge load on generators, transformers, and switches at the local power relay stations. During the mayhem, another secondary group of hackers on both sides would probably be digging through personal computers halfway across the globe, to crack or steal or bribe passwords and access routes to the linking networks between command and control hubs.

After that initial flurry of attacks from both sides, I imagine the game would get more strategic. Moves would be exchanged, attacks, parries, lunges commence. Whoever loses control over their networks first, loses the war at large. Especially if space based weapons enter into the picture or the 'football' is compromised from a remote location.

Imagine the humiliation for all those Chinese generals when a 12 year old kid from Ohio uses their multi-billion dollar, super secret space based kinetic kill vehicle against them, dropping tungsten rods from space onto freeways and troop formations.

Overall there aren't that many people with skills, there are fewer yet with the will to use them, but those who have both are a force to be reckoned with. A reassuring thought; even fewer still have any interest in choosing a side. They can probably be counted on to secure their own position and protect their own interests, that's about it.

New computers and display architectures promise a revolution in computer use and TRUE multitasking for those individuals who always work faster than their machine, no matter how fast their machine gets. New chips, new multi panel touch displays, new software every minute of every day, it's an electronic smorgasbord. One talented computer demon can do the work of ten thousand soldiers, that's a fact. And, he can do it stoned, while eating pizza, watching Kung Fu..in a reclined position.


Protected networks melt like cheese under dedicated assault, and in a wartime situation, there is little room for fear of getting caught, at that point it's do or die. If there was a large scale electronic insurgency, it would have a good chance for success in my opinion; especially if either side was smart enough to prepare ahead of time and bribe some of the more talented free agents.

Governments of the world would do well to remember that all it takes is one engineered glitch, and nukes go off in their silos. All it takes is one faulty GPS reading to ground a sub. If you want to stomp all over the world and make an ass of yourself, be prepared to get stung by those ants you've stepped on. In case of war, America has to worry about just about every hacker in the enemy country/ies, as well as some others in neutral zones. I'm sure there are some snarky swedish hackers who would love to do their part by sabotaging right wing christian hate literature on the web.

Back in the mid to late nineties, a lot of computer 'criminals' fled the states under increasing pressure from the feds. They went to South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, and Russia. They don't owe America anything, so there's no reason to expect they'd leap out of their seats to defend it. That pretty much leaves the uninspired college boys the government recruits. I'd say the US faces a disadvantage on the field of electronic warfare, simply because it doesn't hold the moral high ground, and gifted hackers are famous for their unique brand of ethics.

I'd say America has pissed off too many friends, and ignored too many enemies. That will come back to haunt it if there ever comes a time when cyberspace is transformed into a digital battlefield. That's my opinion, for what it's worth.

[edit on 21-2-2005 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Feb, 21 2005 @ 06:05 PM
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I know some guys in my school who can play hell with a lot of computers. I think US would win in information/cyberwar. We got a lot of patriotic nerds willing to hack for the US of A. Plus we can always hire guys in other countries. No other country can match our payroll.



posted on Feb, 21 2005 @ 06:07 PM
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I agree, the power grid is what terrorists will look at first.

As for computers, so-called 'cyber-attack' attack is only as effective as the buggy nature of your opponent's software. EXAMPLE: If your opponent uses MS Windows or similarly bad software with lots of 'divide-by-zero' holes, then one can lock those machines up without too much problem, particularly if one is inclined to invest in a room full of test-servers and a few Romainian or Filipino teenagers to beat on them, find undiscovered bugs and keep these bugs secret. If your servers aren't patched regularly then getting inside is child's play.

If you are facing a stronger enemy on the battlefield, chances are you will not have the resources to wage 'cyber-war' unless your hardware is on par with his. You might be able to bring down a few servers but this would be a waste of resources, IMO. Better to negotiate or something else. As an amateur American Clancy-reader, I would guess that any serious 'computer terrorist' would go for gold and attempt to trigger a nuke launch by misinformation. I've posted on other threads about this. It wouldn't be impossible for a Wag the Dog-type scenario to be focused on a launch site or a nuclear sub. If you convince the guys that war is on, they will arm and launch. I'm not talking about the US exactly, as their C3I structure is pretty solid, but they are not the only nuclear power, of course.

Misinformation on a network is actually more damaging than an actual denial of service attack. For example: when the DNS servers recently got a corrupt table upload, large chunks of the Internet went down which had not happened in any of the previous years' DoS attacks. However this type of DNS error has a paper trail and so would not be effective for cyber-war unless you could hide your involvment (read: conspiracy). DNS servers are still in the hands of average folks, so that's no danger yet. I'm not the ultimate expert on computers or the Internet, but that's my take.



posted on Feb, 21 2005 @ 11:09 PM
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Originally posted by benedict arnold
I know some guys in my school who can play hell with a lot of computers. I think US would win in information/cyberwar. We got a lot of patriotic nerds willing to hack for the US of A.

RUSSIAN HACKERS ARE THE BEST



Russia's reputation as home to some of the world's most gifted and devious hackers was underscored last month when Microsoft Corp. disclosed that passwords used to access its coveted source code had been sent from the company network to an e-mail address in St. Petersburg.

"In a recent poll on a hacker-oriented Web site, 82 percent said Russia had the world's best hackers; only 5 percent said Americans were better."


Link


So i guess.... think twise before fighting cyberwar with russia



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 10:27 AM
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Talking about hackers isnt related to countrys, its just about how many got access on computer on what country, far as ive seen people who are gifted with computers can start from scratch and earn their way to get better equipment, Russians are good example. Still i would say more people = better chance for gifted people of course you need some educational level and access to computers or what ever devices you want em to use, so it wont go waste. I wouldnt ever go generalise "hackers" thats like throwing a challenge, today what seen on news most been Poland and Brazilian, still i wouldnt say they got best hackers. And i would also give great appreciation for those who work in anti-hack corporations to make obstacles for em, they have some great talent too, even while they work in legal side.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 02:06 PM
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I do not believe Russia has better hackers, whatever that means. Aren't there several soviet states now?

Computers had their birth in America and software is written in english syntax (scripted, PHP, C++ programs at least) so that gives an advantage to America. Once another nation develops software that runs on a PC (a competitor to Microsoft) , the entire globe will change, but for now, the USA is on top of the software world.

Frankly, I believe that the oft-required "Security Clearance" is our main weakness in American white-hat hacking because of you are even slightly leftist, they just will not use you. As a result, Uncle Sam misses out on a lot of great cyber-warriors who want to preserve freedom but who are very liberal in their beliefs. Just my opinion.



posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 03:33 AM
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Computers had their birth in America


::groans::

The First computer was created in England during World War 2, its primary task was to break the German Uboat Code.

At present, the Asian Nations have a considerable lead in Computer based technology, compared to the US of A.

- Philip



posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 05:33 AM
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Many of the finest examples of computer cowboys are American, but many if not most of them live in other countries. China has a lot of American ex-pat hackers, as do many other countries. Uncle Sam ran all the hackers out of the country, or locked them up then offered them jobs in exchanged for clemency. There's no loyalty there however, and given the first oppurtunity, every one of those extorted professionals will kick their former persecutor, current master, square in the balls.



posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by gooseuk
::groans::

The First computer was created in England during World War 2, its primary task was to break the German Uboat Code.
- Philip


Actually, you could consider the Iowa State work in 1939 as the first computer. Patent law supports this as well.

www.greatachievements.org...
www.cs.iastate.edu...



posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 08:48 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Many of the finest examples of computer cowboys are American, but many if not most of them live in other countries. China has a lot of American ex-pat hackers, as do many other countries. Uncle Sam ran all the hackers out of the country, or locked them up then offered them jobs in exchanged for clemency. There's no loyalty there however, and given the first oppurtunity, every one of those extorted professionals will kick their former persecutor, current master, square in the balls.


This brings up the conversation about who wants the publicity. I doubt any intelligent person would jepardise his freedom for publicity, sure its known that hacker groups make sort of remarks in history (breaking in top security objects and showing the vurnerability), but those are mostly silenced and they really dont cover only US citizens, US is most attacked country in the world if counted in network attacks and that isnt only made by Americans to themself. The matter is just what you, me or the guy next to us have heard, its pretty hard to cover all incidents + most of em are silenced cause it would cause fear in public and some people would abandon the services, bank, shop or what ever the target was.

Even if program langue was english, i doubt it will bring much of challenge and it isnt only English, good math helps a lot, unless you just script that is coding already existing code, im not professional on matter, but i would say you can do it many ways. Basically its creation, your imagenation, time and processing capacity is only limits.



posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 12:16 PM
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::groans::

No need for groaning. You know what I mean. The PC came to life in America. American Defense dollars built the internet. ENIAC and machines like at Blechley were used for codebreaking not infiltration. Sorry if I irritated any non-US folks but the computer revolution began here and that's why the major software companies are English and US-based.

Yes, there are lots of ex-pat hackers and that's where I think America could have an edge. American hackers planted inside other countries could be pretty effective the networks inside that country, but again, bringing a network down through the old Denial of Service tactic has not been shown useful during a battle, to my knowledge. You would not stop the Internet with a DoS attack. You can stop a group of websites like the SCO Unix attack where something like 30,000 zombie-PCs were used.


most of em are silenced cause it would cause fear in public and some people would abandon the services, bank, shop or what ever the target was.

I agree, many more hacks take place than are made public. It seems that there is now big money in organized crime using hackers to gain entry and then obtain a ransom from the target corporation. Threats and blackmail seem to be the thing. I don't see how any of the will become useful in battle tho'.


Even if program langue was english, i doubt it will bring much of challenge and it isnt only English, good math helps a lot, unless you just script that is coding already existing code, im not professional on matter, but i would say you can do it many ways. Basically its creation, your imagenation, time and processing capacity is only limits.

Well you're right, but I mean that if you had two rooms of ten hackers, the ones who understand English will be able to read the refrence material best. You cannot hack an operating system without reading the printed material unless you're just a script-kiddie. In any case, scripts seem to be the main tool as opposed to trojan-writing which takes programming skill. Still, you can't get inside unless the target clicks on an email attachment. That and the Explorer IMG tag bug which still remains unpatched on a lot of machines. Also (as I recall) the new thing is for these zombie PCs to regularly check an IRC channel where a hacker can simply pop on and give intructions to their Zombie-PC army without really exposing themselves too much.

The thing that I noticed recently was the MySQL virus which was discovered. That's a big deal because it's the first replicating virus that breeds from within a database program, so far as I know.



posted on Feb, 24 2005 @ 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by smallpeeps
Yes, there are lots of ex-pat hackers and that's where I think America could have an edge. American hackers planted inside other countries could be pretty effective the networks inside that country, but again, bringing a network down through the old Denial of Service tactic has not been shown useful during a battle, to my knowledge. You would not stop the Internet with a DoS attack. You can stop a group of websites like the SCO Unix attack where something like 30,000 zombie-PCs were used.


Well i would say if talking about internet US currently has upper hand as most of the internet hubs are in US and once there was fear that such could be taken down, it would cause massive damage but DOS attack wasnt strong enough. Far as ill understand US can plug out countrys area code and by destroy its whole internet infrastucture, but again China is taking this all consideration and has moved from 4IPv to 6IPv, ok it doesnt directly have this cause as China simple need more IP's while now most of em in IPv4 standard are reserved to US corporations. But long as US gives others the IP's, its possible to disable this and remove the threat from area, sure network can be attacked various ways after that, but no script kid in home should do nothing, when service is offline.



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