Monday, January 28, 2013

MAJOR TRENDS DRIVING CYBER WARFARE


Summary
Trends and advancing development of cyber warfare capabilities will continue, with attacks focused on espionage, strategic strikes to cripple specific targets [such as Stuxnet], and integrated support for traditional sea, air, and ground offensives.  Paired attacks between nations currently in conflict [Pakistan and India; S. Korea and N. Korea; Israel and Iran] will continue to escalate in number and severity. 

There are a number of factors which will drive the expansion of cyber warfare.  Here are four:

Cyber Weapons: Keep Up or Prepare to be Vulnerable
Military powers around the world cannot afford to be left behind in a world of rapidly advancing cyber warfare capabilities.  Actions by China result in increased budgets and staffing in the United States; offensive actions by Israel are met by increased actions from Iran; North Korean attacks are met by return attacks from South Korea.  Few will be left out: according to U.S. intelligence officials on January 9, 2013, thirteen of the world’s fifteen largest nations are gearing up cyberwarfare programs and staffing. 

Fear Drives Expenditures, Putting the Cyber Arms Race in Full Swing
Public fears of cyber strikes are enflamed by industry cyber war providers and professional associations, whose studies and press releases of dangers and ever-impending attacks around the world fuel media reports, which are spread over the Internet.  The result: expansion of government cyber warfare budgets for both defensive and offensive capabilities.

Cyber Espionage to Take the Lead
Whereas cyber attack capabilities to disrupt or disable operations are difficult to develop and execute, opportunities for military and political espionage abound.  China for one maintains extensive espionage capabilities and is known to continually probe U.S. commercial, military and government sites for weaknesses and gain access to classified technical specifications and military plans.  Such espionage capabilities will grow rapidly in the coming three years, being the number one category of cyber warfare attacks. 

Growing Capabilities of Cyber Arms Merchants
Extremist and terrorist groups with access to funding are finding expanding opportunities to procure an increasing array of cyber attack methods, tools, staffing and support, even rental server farms for attacks from a growing array of cyber arms merchants.  This will not only speed the terrorist groups’ entry into the world of cyber attacks, but provide access to a continuing stream of the latest technology for increasingly sophisticated campaigns.

For more discussion, watch for our upcoming special report on the upcoming growth of cyber warfare being released in mid-February.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What's this Journal All About, Anyway?

Cyberspace consists of a global network of networks, both public and private, where more than two billion people interact with and through more than twelve billion computers and enabled devises of all types.  Devices range from ordinary PC’s and hand-held tablets to global positioning satellites, data routers, massive data storage facilities, complexes of scientific processors, communications and air traffic control systems, water and power generation systems and much, much more.

The Internet can be thought of as nothing less than a transformative development in human history.  There has never been anything like it.  And from today's view, the potential and future of this network of networks seems limitless.

But transformations are like bulls - you get the bull but you also get the horns.  In the case of Cyberspace, the horns are those who use this near-miraculous marvel to trick and steal from one another, disrupt operations, engage in spying, and increasingly, conduct war.  These actions of malfeasance thus span a wide range of evils.

SCOPE.  CyberWarfare Today addresses the upper end of the destructive scale of these actions, to include nation-state cyber intelligence gathering, cyber attacks and disruption, and full-blown cyber war, which collectively we will refer to as Cyber Warfare.  We will not focus, except when pertinent, on hacking, cyber theft and criminal activities, empowering social causes or, with a few exceptions, corporate espionage.

As our tag line states, we will be focusing not on the latest breaking news on the baddest attack that strikes ours or any nation, but the themestrends and future of cyber warfare, including its causes, those who perpetuate such actions, and their methods.  We will also be addressing the consequences of cyber warfare in economic, human, and geopolitical terms.  Our aim is to connect with you, our readers in an interactive manner which enriches the discussion for all who visit this site.

Please join us, enjoy our perspectives - and hopefully, stay more informed on this fascinating and critical topic.

James McFarlin
Publisher

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