Cyber World War 1.0 has begun

Cyber World War 1.0 has begun

By Claude Salhani, Trend:

Few people realize it but World War III is well underway and has been for a while. The difference is that this war is being fought in cyber space with occasional battles shifting from computer screens to conventional battlefields, as is currently the case in Syria, and previously was in Iraq or Afghanistan. But make no mistake about it; the outcome can be just as devastating.

In any military operation establishing secured lines of communication is the first step to a successful mission. In this new type of war information is power, far more so than in a conventional conflict. In a cyber war information is the main ammunition. That, and defence against hackers.

Today we have an abundance of information available at our fingertips and those who are on the front lines fighting in the cyber trenches are tasked with sifting through the immeasurable mounds of data in order to seek out what is valuable from what is pure junk. What is true data from attempts to infiltrate a system.

Today the information available on a simple smartphone gives an individual greater access to more real time information and valuable data, such as detailed satellite maps and weather forecasts than General Eisenhower's Allied Headquarter staff had in preparing their plans for the invasion of Europe in June 1944.

The ease with which we communicate has changed much in the way we live, in the way we shop, in the way we interact with one another and in the way terrorists behave and interact with themselves and with the rest of the world. This of course brings about positive and negative changes.

For the media, the advancement of social mediums is both a blessing and a curse. Prior to the advent of the social mediums groups, who engaged in terrorism activities, needed the media to get their message across. In the many years I spent based in Beirut covering terrorism, I rarely, if ever, felt threatened by the groups I was covering. Quite the contrary, they went out of their way to protect journalists. But with access to the public no longer limited to a few elite gatekeepers, the traditional media was no longer an absolute must for those with a message. Journalists became fair game for some terrorist groups. In fact, killing a journalist on camera promoted their readership.

Modern day communications has evolved and both those who engage in acts of terrorism as well as those who combat it are currently fighting on a dual front; the traditional battle and on the cyber battlefield. Tomorrow's GI will have to be as computer literate as gun savvy.
Today with instant messaging such as Twitter and Facebook available to both the good and the bad guys, the pace of communications has changed drastically.

The one, who will be able to control the Internet and other communications, will be the winner. There will be no need to bomb a city into submission, just deny it water, electricity, central heating and/or cooling to the point where the food rots, the services are idle and the banks become inoperable. Then sit back and watch the chaos set in.

Last September when a group of Somali gunmen from al-Shabab attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, an unprecedented use of social media was used in Kenya.

Twitter feeds from the Kenyan Defence Forces and feeds from various al-Shabab accounts provided details that suggested terrorists were tweeting from within the mall as the attack was unfolding.

Social media has come to replace mainstream media. Posting on Facebook, Tweeting and using the rest of the panoply offered by the social mediums has, to a large extent rendered traditional media almost obsolete. Terrorist groups no longer vie for the exposure they once craved for in the traditional media. With their own Internet web sites they now go straight to their target audience.

The use of social media to streamline communication and exploit a worldwide publicity platform is just one example of the emergence of what cyberterrorism specialist Laith Alkhouri calls Unconventional Warfare 2.0.

"Terrorist groups worldwide have tapped into the immeasurable advantage of the Internet in communications, fundraising, financing, indoctrination and recruitment," he says.
In many ways the terrorists are ahead of the curve when it comes to using the Internet.
A few months ago a friend who works for the US Department of Defence asked me why I had stopped emailing my stories to her. I replied that I had stopped using email as a means of alerting friends and colleagues whenever I published something. Now I tweeted the headline and url to a list of Twitter followers. She was surprised.

"Twitter?" she asked, almost mockingly? "Come on," she added. "You are not serious."
I could not be more serious. For me, (and for many others) Twitter has become the premier means of communication and news retrieval vehicle. I alert my "followers" whenever I have a story I think might interest them, and I use Twitter to look up breaking news headlines.
If the Somali Shabab understand that, shouldn't the rest of the world start taking the cyber threat more seriously? The West has been bickering ad nauseam over Iran's nuclear ambitions but has largely ignored a potentially greater threat: Iran's foray into cyber space, and by default groups it supports.
Some in the intelligence community are waking up to the fact that a cyber attack on the West's infrastructure can debilitate entire cities as much as a conventional military assault.
Richard A. Clarke, a former presidential advisor and counterterrorism experts is one of those who takes the threat of cyber war very seriously. Clarke has written an entire book on the topic in which he warns Americans of their vulnerability to attack from cyberspace.
The war is on. Every day dozens of government sites around the world are hacked in what seems to be a preamble to the final assault, should it ever come.
Only last week a large number of documents were leaked from the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as were documents from the Ministry of Economy of Poland. And Latvia's state employment agency was also hacked.
In the past the CIA, the Mossad and other intelligence services had their computers hacked into.
As were banks and other financial institutions. For now at least these attacks appear to be testing the West, trying to find the weakest link in the system. But will the West be prepared if and when a major cyber offensive is launched?
--
Claude Salhani is senior editor of the English language service of Trend Agency

Israeli identity validation co Identiq raises $47m
Israeli identity validation co Identiq raises $47m
Israel reports 4,173 new COVID-19 cases, 788,869 in total
Israel reports 4,173 new COVID-19 cases, 788,869 in total
PayPal in talks to buy Israeli co Curv
PayPal in talks to buy Israeli co Curv
Loading Bars
Latest
5.9-magnitude quake jolts central Greece, no injuries reported
Georgian Railway expects to refinance Eurobonds
UK records another 6,573 coronavirus cases, 242 deaths
Azerbaijan agrees to continue existing oil production cuts in April (PHOTO)
7.3-magnitude quake hits waters off New Zealand
Armenia can also benefit from regional transportation projects if behaves in normal way - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan becomes one of Eurasia's main and reliable transportation, logistics hub - President Aliyev
We invite ECO member states to benefit from “Zangazur corridor” - President of Azerbaijan
We condemn unequal, unfair distribution of vaccines among developing and developed countries - President Aliyev
Now we are looking into future - President Aliyev
Military victory over Armenia on battlefield was also fully accomplished by political ways - President Aliyev
Stronger Turkey is, stronger is Azerbaijan and all its partners - President Aliyev
IAEA chief: Technical meeting with Iran to be held in April
WHO praises Georgia for curbing Covid-19
Belarusian BELAVIA airlines operating one-way flights on Baku-Minsk route
Macron to spare Paris region from weekend lockdown, for now
Kazakhstan determines priorities of foreign policy
Compliance services become more relevant in Azerbaijan - PASHA Bank
Several servicemen killed in military helicopter crash in Turkey
Azerbaijan doing everything to create new transport infrastructure in South Caucasus – Russian analyst
New reality created in South Caucasus - head of department at Istanbul Kadir Has University
Demining of Azerbaijani lands complicated by Armenia’s refusal to provide maps of minefields - Expert
Long-awaited end to Karabakh conflict creates new opportunities - Former US ambassador to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shows footage from Kechikli village of Zangilan district (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan interested in strengthening export and investment potential with Argentina
President Aliyev gives speech at virtual Summit of Economic Cooperation Organization
MFA shares potential sectors of Lithuanian investment in Georgia
Georgian kiwi enters Japanese market
Azerbaijan's ENGINET company talks unique solutions for local market
Kazakh gold extracting venture opens tender to buy spares
Kazakhstan intends to attract funds to improve energy efficiency of facilities
Volume of food products sold in Baku's trade network increases
Georgia shows progress in curbing coronavirus cases - WHO
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry allocates funds for maintenance services
Restaurant business subsidizing program launched in Tbilisi
UK's Johnson says Brexit problems in Northern Ireland are solvable
Supporting Member Country ECAs: ICIEC endorse supportive reinsurance treaty with JLGC
Uztekstilprom, French Proparco talk profitable financing for textile projects
Georgian consulting company launching project for female entrepreneurs
Georgian wine export to US down
Russia and Azerbaijan lead in import of electricity to Georgia
Several low-cost airlines resume flights to Georgia
Azerbaijan-Belarus foreign trade operations for Jan. 2021 revealed
Azerbaijan confirms 124 more COVID-19 recoveries
Kazakhstan increasing control over development of oil and gas fields
State property privatization plan in Georgia surpasses initial plan
Several containers with cargo to pass through Azerbaijan along BTK railway - ADY Container
Rehabilitation centers can be established in Azerbaijan's liberated lands - Agency
Azerbaijan discloses number of imported cars in 2020
Uzbekistan’s 1M2021 profit for banks increases
Germany approves AstraZeneca for over-65s
New plant to be commissioned in Baku
Azerbaijan to receive Astra Zeneca vaccine via COVAX mechanism - WHO
Turkmengas opens again tender for operation of video surveillance system
Uzbekistan, Belarus agree to expand range of mutually supplied agricultural products
Uzbek currency rates for March 5
Italian Eni launches implementation of its solar energy project in Kazakhstan
Ensuring security in Karabakh our top priority - Turkish president
Georgia eyes to select new investor for Anaklia port
Creation of Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan Business Council under discussion
Covaxin demonstrates prowess of Atmanirbhar Bharat, says ICMR chief
India, Philippines sign key defence pact, set ball rolling for BrahMos missile sale
Turkey supports Georgia in deepening relations with Euro-Atlantic structures
Moldova Post plans to develop co-op with Turkmenistan in field of postal services
Georgia preparing for issuance of new Eurobond
Europe reviewing Russia's COVID-19 vaccine
German companies interested in funding Azerbaijan's railway projects
Uzbekistan to launch production of electric scooters in Fergana region
Azerbaijani State Customs Committee chairman names most-imported products for 2020
India, Norway to work together in marine spatial planning
PM Modi may launch trading points, connectivity projects in Dhaka
India to fund NRs 246 million for reconstruction of Cultural Heritages in Nepal
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan resuming mutual air traffic
Several ships and related facilities to be launched in Iranian ports
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for March 4
Azerbaijani FM’s letter to UN sec-gen disseminated as document of organization
Kazakhstan increases imports of Iran-made goods
Georgia plans to create new economic development plan
Baku Statistical Department discloses Jan. 2021 volume of paid services to citizens
Electricity production in Georgia to increase after Namakhvani HPP is ready
Uzbekistan reveals volume of industrial production for Jan. 2021
Students and graduates of Baku Higher Oil School shown high results in entrance exams for master's degree programs
Azerbaijani PASHA Bank eyes attracting IT companies to implement joint projects
Azerbaijani banks' demand at foreign exchange auction decrease
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price fell
Azerbaijan, Turkey to hold joint military exercises (PHOTO)
Turkish foreign minister to visit Uzbekistan
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Dayyer port revealed
Kazakhstan’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant announces tender to buy accumulators
Moldova Post talks details of postal communication resumption with Turkmenistan
Buta Airways to launch ticket sales for Baku-Istanbul-Baku Flights
Iran Khodro Company expects to meet forecasts
Azerbaijani IT company seeks to promote smart home systems abroad
Iran declares data of exports, imports via Astara port
Several mines produced by Armenia found in Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district - Trend TV reports
Azerbaijan releases 2M2021 data on transactions of local investment companies'
EU delegation's head talks interest in raising Azerbaijani regions' financial inclusion
Most of construction work in Baku during Jan. 2021 carried out by private companies
BlackRock builds 5% stake in Toshiba, becomes third largest shareholder
Iran discloses volume of rapeseed to be harvested
All news