Many facets of our infrastructure are vulnerable to attack. If anyone
saw the film "Live Free or Die Hard", and I know its just a Hollywood
movie, but believe it or not the film has credence. John Carlin, who
wrote an article names "A Farewell to Arms" for Wired magazine that was
published in May of 2007 is what the film was based on. And it has a
lot to say not only about our vulnerable infrastructure, but what our
top brass are saying and doing about it. This quote from the article
kind of sums up what the think-tanks and those in charge want:
"Not that nothing is being done. On the contrary, there's been a frenzy
of activity, most of it little noticed by Washington at large. A
presidential commission has been established; the FBI, the CIA, and the
NSA have created their own specialist I-war teams; interagency bodies,
complete with newly minted acronyms like IPTF (Infrastructure Protection
Task Force) and CIWG (Critical Infrastructure Working Group), have been
set up; defense advisory committees have been submitting reports thick
and fast, calling for bigger budgets, smarter bombs, more surveillance,
still more commissions to combat the cyber peril. Yet, for all the
bustle, there's no clear direction."
This is exactly how I picture our governments reaction, using old
tactics to fight a new enemy. The new generation of warfare is here, no
longer will it be decided by (initially at least) mechanized and armored
formations, but by control of information. The following is an excerpt
from the Chinese Army Newspaper;
"After the Gulf War, when everyone was looking forward to eternal peace,
a new military revolution emerged. This revolution is essentially a
transformation from the mechanized warfare of the industrial age to the
information warfare of the information age. Information warfare is a war
of decisions and control, a war of knowledge, and a war of intellect.
The aim of information warfare will be gradually changed from
'preserving oneself and wiping out the enemy' to 'preserving oneself and
controlling the opponent."
This to me just sounds scary and it makes me wonder if we are indeed
prepared to fight such a conflict where our infrastructure is as likely
to be a target as one of our tanks, planes, or soldiers. It seems as
though our leadership even fear taking on this task of preparing our
nation for such an event or conflict, because it really is a monumental
job that sits in front of them. "It's gone from think tank to
commission to task force," says one Senate staffer, "and then the White
House has put it back out for another commission. Nobody wants to get
near it, because it's being presented in such humongous terms."
Another reason I feel that the article correctly gives for our leaders
avoiding this subject, is that there is no clearly definable enemy in
the context of Information Warfare.
"Looking at I-war through the conventional military prism is scarcely
more inspiring. No weapons to stockpile. No US$50 billion panacea
programs. No Ho Chi Minh Trails to bomb. No missiles to monitor. No rear
bases - possibly no immediately definable enemy at all." How can we use
Cold War thinking and military planning to defeat a 21st century enemy?
The one who is behind a computer screen instead of the sights of a
rifle. Especially when we are seeing the advent of the electronic
soldier, who is wired to a network connecting our military assets. What
if someone were to bring that network down in the future? The
possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to Information
Warfare and how it can affect our infrastructure.
As much as I could go on about this article, no one will read a book
long post. What's here in this post so far only covers 2 of 9 pages of
the article. Heres a link if anyone wants to read the entire article.