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Fierce cyber war predicted
- To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
- Subject: Fierce cyber war predicted
- From: Pluto <pluto -!
- stderr -
- Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 10:57:15 +0100
ein bisschen wundert mich die Naivitaet der Amis. Da haben die vor 10
Jahren die Sued-Iraker im stich gelassen und zugesehen als die Executionen
stattfanden. Jetzt wollen die den Generaelen erzaehlen, sie sollen den
gleichen Fehler machen. Da Araber eher noch auf Handschlag, als auf
Ewige-Gerichtsfilme stehen, ist das iritierend daemlich vom Pentagon.
Fierce cyber war predicted
Strides in technology magnify info war potential
Monday, March 3, 2003 Posted: 10:49 AM EST (1549 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Imagine Iraqi commanders getting misleading text messages
on their cell phones. They appear to contain orders from Saddam Hussein
but are actually sent by the U.S. military in disguise, directing Iraqi
troops to a trap.
Or how about a radar that confuses the Iraqi air defense system by showing
U.S. bombers in the wrong locations, or heading in the wrong direction?
Although information operations has been a tool of warfare for centuries,
the Internet and other technologies are boosting capabilities -- and the
stakes. Already, the Pentagon has sent unsolicited e-mails to Iraqi
generals, encouraging them to defect.
"Warfare is less and less about pushing men and machines around the
battlefield and more and more about pushing electrons and photons," said
Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute in
Comments hard to come by
The Pentagon has been mostly mum about what it can do and plans. Military
analysts wouldn't reveal specifics, fearful the Iraqis could develop
"One thing I can tell you for sure: People who really know about these
programs can't tell you about these programs," said Bruce Berkowitz, a
senior analyst with Rand. But Berkowitz did spell out the goals: Shape
perceptions and get ahead of the enemy's decision-making intelligence
through spying, jamming and deception.
Chris Prosise, a Foundstone Inc. security researcher formerly with the Air
Force's Information Warfare Center, said the U.S. military has the same
tools available to computer hackers. A virus, for instance, can create
"backdoor" openings for later break-ins.
Information operations could also involve steering Iraqis to less-secure
communications channels for easier spying, such as by destroying the
infrastructure required for encryption. That can be done with bombs,
computer attacks or, perhaps, electromagnetic-pulse weapons, which disable
electronics with massive bursts of electricity.
During the Civil War, when signal flags were used, Union forces broke
Confederate coding schemes and diverted the South's troops by planting
bogus messages, Berkowitz said.
And during World War II, Allies fooled Germans by "leaking" battle plans
involving nonexistent troops.
Net helps deception
Iraq can also hack U.S. computers from afar just as the Pentagon can break
into Iraqi systems. Defense is as much a part of the preparations.
The Internet makes deception easier. Getting away with it, though, can be
harder. Saddam can check Google for references to an Army division or read
local newspapers reporting on their units' whereabouts.
"These soldiers are still getting haircuts and shopping, and local
merchants are going to report massive drop-offs in sales due to troops
deploying," said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a research
Sgt. Maj. Lewis Matson, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, would
only confirm two previously used "propaganda" methods.
For months, planes have been dropping leaflets over the "no-fly" zones,
warning Iraqi soldiers not to fire at American aircraft and stressing
Saddam's suppression of the Iraqi people. The 193rd Special Operations
Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard also has been broadcasting
recorded radio messages from EC-130E Commando Solo aircraft.
One of the six Commando Solos, which can also broadcast television, has an
antenna for retransmitting live satellite feeds, said Senior Master
Sgt. Michael Kovach, an electronics instructor with the 193rd wing.
Its first use could come in Iraq.
start quoteThey'll use this whole thing as a big training ground. They'll
experiment with everything they've been thinking about for a long time.end
-- James Bamford, intelligence expert and author
One hypothetical use of such a transmitter could be to encourage surrender
by beaming into Iraq doctored video of Saddam being captured. Such tactics
could backfire, however, if a conflicting version were to appear via one
of the many information sources now available -- radio, Internet,
Military officials privately acknowledge that they've sent e-mail to Iraqi
generals, encouraging dissent and defections and warning against following
any order to use weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. Strategic Command, meanwhile, has the Joint Task Force for
Computer Network Operations available for computer attacks. The National
Security Agency also has invested heavily in this area over the past five
years, said intelligence expert and author James Bamford.
Bill Sweetman, a contributing editor with Jane's International Defense
Review, said the U.S. military benefits from its familiarity with the
Russian computer systems used by Iraqis.
The Chinese-built fiber-optic cables running Iraq's air defenses may be
harder to penetrate than the airwaves, but military hackers can do much
more -- and quietly -- once they are breached, Brookings Institution
fellow Peter Singer said.
There has also been talk of disrupting bank accounts through hacking,
though retired Air Force Col. Alan Campen, an editor of four books on
cyberwarfare, warns that doing so could hurt the global financial system.
"When you're launching a computer attack against somebody, how do you know
you've got them and haven't hurt yourself?" he asked.
President Bush already has signed a secret order to develop guidelines on
launching cyberattacks. Once bombs start dropping, Bamford said, the
military and intelligence communities will likely get all the authority
"They'll use this whole thing as a big training ground," Bamford
said. "They'll experiment with everything they've been thinking about for
a long time."
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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