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[infowar.de] US-Regierung konzentriert sich auf Cyberattacken durch Staaten
Endlich, endlich scheint der "Bin Laden-Cyberterror"-Hype dem Ende
zuzugehen. Statt dessen konzentriert man sich auf die wenigen Staaten,
die wirklich ernsthaft Cyberwar-Fähigkeiten aufbauen. Soweit war die
G.W. Bush-Regierung schon mal, kurz nach dem Regierungsantritt.
Ich habe diesen Wandel des Bedrohungsdiskurses unter GW Bush in einem
Beitrag für die "State of Peace" Konferenz Anfang des Jahres analysiert.
Er ist jetzt erschienen:
Ralf Bendrath: Die neue US-Regierung und ihre Cyber-Angst. Fidel Castro
und Osama Bin Laden als Cyber-Terroristen ? eine Diskursanalyse, in:
Österreichisches Institut für Friedensforschung und Friedenserziehung
(ÖSFK) (Hrsg.): Ground Zero - Friedenspolitik nach den Terroranschlägen
auf die USA (Friedensbericht 2002), Münster 2002, S. 67-88.
(An einer überarbeiteten Fassung auf englisch arbeite ich gerade...)
Der nächste Schritt nach dieser staatszentrierten Wendung der
Bedrohungswahrnehmung wäre natürlich, endlich mit Gesprächen über
Rüstungskontrolle auch im Bereich des Cyberkrieges zu beginnen. Olivier
Minkwitz und ich werden die Überlegungen von FoG:IS und anderen zu
diesem Thema, die u.a. auf unserer Konferenz in Berlin im letzten Jahr
diskutiert wurden, auf der InfowarCon Anfang September in Washington
erstmals der amerikanischen Fachöffentlichkeit vorstellen. Mal sehen,
wie die darauf reagieren.
Die Präsentationen von Olivier Minkwitz und Georg Schöfbänker zum Thema
"Cyberwar und Rüstungskontrolle" auf der ISODARCO in Italien vor zwei
Wochen sind übrigens jetzt online verfügbar:
Olivier Minkwitz, FoG:IS/Peace Research Institute Frankfurt:
Arms Control and Information Warfare
Problems, Prospects, Policies .... and a Plea for a New Approach towards
Georg Schöfbänker, FoG:IS/Austrian Information Centre for Security
Policy and Arms Control (AISA):
Why Arms Control matters. Perspectives for Cyber-Arms Control
White House Officials Debating Rules for Cyberwarfare
By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 22, 2002; Page A02
The Bush administration is stepping up an internal debate on the rules
of engagement for cyberwarfare as evidence mounts that foreign
governments are surreptitiously exploring our digital infrastructure,
a top official said yesterday.
Richard A. Clarke, head of the Office of Cyberspace Security, said the
government has begun to regard nation-states rather than terrorist
groups as the most dangerous threat to this country's computer
security after several suspicious break-ins involving federal
"There are terrorist groups that are interested. We now know that al
Qaeda was interested. But the real major threat is from the
information-warfare brigade or squadron of five or six countries,"
Clarke said in an interview with Washington Post editors and
The White House last week called in Gregory J. Rattray, an Air Force
officer and author of "Strategic Warfare in Cyberspace," to accelerate
the process of sorting out the legal and ethical issues surrounding
In one series of incidents in 1999 and 2000, unidentified hackers
downloaded scores of "sensitive but unclassified" internal documents
from the Los Alamos and Livermore national laboratories and the
Defense Department. Investigators traced the electronic trail back to
an unnamed foreign country; officially, the government there denied
being involved, but the intrusions suddenly stopped, he said.
U.S. officials also believe it is possible that a foreign government
helped create the Code Red virus that took control of 314,000 servers
last year and directed them to attack White House computers.
For the past nine months, Clarke -- who reports both to Homeland
Security Director Tom Ridge and national security adviser Condoleezza
Rice -- has been preparing a plan that will involve the government,
private companies and average citizens in defending against future
attacks. This national strategy will be outlined next month in Silicon
Among the recommendations is that Internet service providers for cable
and DSL companies package their faster always-on services with
"firewalls," or security software that repels outside intrusion and
monitors what information is sent out to the Internet. Clarke said
many people have connected to the Internet through such services in
recent years without being told their computers are open to intruders.
"Our goal is not to prevent cyberattacks but to withstand them,"
Clarke said the country has made some progress in shoring up its
defenses since Sept. 11 attacks but it will be years before it can fix
the numerous vulnerabilities that have existed on the Internet since
its creation. He said the government also is assessing whether some
critical computers should be disconnected from the Internet or run on
a private network.
Federal agencies have increased their information technology spending
to $4.5 billion in the fiscal year beginning in October, up 64 percent
from the previous year. Major software companies such as Microsoft
Corp. and Oracle Corp. have made security a top priority. But
companies in other sectors, especially telecommunications, have been
slower to respond because of financial difficulties, Clarke said.
Meanwhile, Clarke said, more and more countries, especially poorer
ones, are coming to see the advantage of cyberwarfare over traditional
warfare. Such efforts are less expensive, costing thousands of
dollars, compared with billions for a nuclear weapons program.
Cyberattacks also are easier to conceal.
The specter of a more significant cyberattacks from enemy countries
has pushed the U.S. government to explore how far it should go in its
own use of technology in war.
The U.S. military's use of cyberwarfare so far has been limited mostly
to defensive efforts and information collection.
After the NATO campaign in Kosovo in 1999, Gen. Henry H. Shelton,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, disclosed that the military had
jammed Serbian computer networks. But Clarke said the United States
has yet to engage in a major attack that damages other systems.
Clarke describes the situation today as analogous to the dilemma the
U.S. government faced several decades ago when it had nuclear
capability but lacked rules on when or how to use the weapons.
Under the Geneva Convention, the operative international law of war,
attacks on noncombatants are prohibited. Thus, a cyberattack on the
banking system or electricity grid of a country believed to be helping
terrorists would raise unresolved legal issues because of the damage
it might inflict on innocent people.
"It's okay to blow up a bridge and kill everyone, including civilians"
if the bridge is believed to serve a military purpose, said Mark
Rasch, a technology security consultant and former Justice Department
prosecutor. "But it might not be okay to hack into computer systems"
that are not obviously serving a military purpose.
And it could be particularly hard to control the impact of an
electronic attack. For example, any virus the military might unleash
on its enemies would probably spread beyond the target because so many
of the world's computers are linked to the Internet.
Some officials in the Bush administration also are concerned about
creating dangerous precedents by launching the first major Internet
attack given that the United States could have with more to lose than
any opponent in such a conflict.
American businesses and governmental entities depend on technology to
a far greater degree than do relatively undeveloped countries and
loose-knit terrorist groups -- and retaliation by could be a major
"We live in the largest glass house on the street when it comes to
that," said Daniel T. Kuehl, a professor at National Defense
University, an education arm of the military.
Staff writer Vernon Loeb contributed to this report.
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