Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fifth Dimension of Warfare
Sea, air, land, space and now, there’s cyberspace. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak calls it the fifth dimension of modern warfare and rightly so.  He pointed out three issues that need to be addressed by the military, namely: the difficulty of identifying the attacker and the source of the attack which can be anywhere in the world; the fact that cyber-attacks usually take place even when there is no formal declaration of hostilities between the parties involved; and the dependence of the military on the civilian internet infrastructure when it actually goes into war. US security expert Richard A. Clarke (Cyber War, May 2010) defines cyberwarfare as "actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption.” Apropos, the United States set up in May 2010 the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), headed by the Director of the National Security Agency, General Keith B. Alexander. In May 2011, the People’s Liberation Army of China announced the existence of its own Cyber Security Squad which according to the Pentagon is using "information warfare units to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks, and those units include civilian computer professionals.” Computer terrorism is the biggest threat facing any country with a highly developed cyber infrastructure. Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab that recently detected the extremely complex Flame virus put it this way, to wit: "You are a victim of the attack. You don't know who is behind the attack. You don't know what is the next target. You don't know where it was developed. It's not cyberwar, it's cyberterrorism, and I am afraid that it is just the beginning of the game. And very soon, many countries around the world will learn that."

By: Eduardo R. Meneses Jr.

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