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[] Cyberwarfare 'a reality in 12 months',

...sagt Gartner. Naja, eigentlich sind die eher Marktforscher als

Cyberwarfare 'a reality in 12 months'
Andrew Donoghue
January 15, 2004, 12:50 GMT 

The increasing use of IP technology in power stations, railroads, banks
other financial institutions will make cyberwarfare a reality by 2005,
according to analysts.

Although an actual act of cyber-warfare or cyber-terrorism has never
recorded, the potential exists and is being facilitated by an
connected world, according to a report released on Wednesday by
market-research firm Gartner. 

Technologies such as VoIP and the trend towards voice and data
have cost and flexibility benefits for businesses, but they also expose
vital telecommunications networks to traditional forms of Internet
such as worms and viruses, according to the report, "Cyberwarfare: VoIP
convergence increases vulnerability".

"An increasingly connected world increases the possibility that
cyber-warfare will be waged," the report says. "The increasing use of
and convergence networks for critical-infrastructure control and
makes the attacks increasingly viable." 

Gartner claims that, unlike traditional circuit-switched networks, VoIP
networks have an inherent weakness when it comes to latency -- any delay
the packets carrying the voice traffic disrupts communication. A massive
denial-of-service attack could "degrade call performance by slowing
packet arrival at a given destination" and effectively cut off voice
communication, the report says.

Other weaknesses flagged in the Gartner report include the Supervisory
Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) interfaces used to connect a
significant portion of global critical-infrastructure elements such as
railroads, electrical grids, and power stations. These are now more
vulnerable due to the rise of IP technology. 

Historically, SCADA interfaces have been connected by circuit-switched
networks and were really open to attack only from hackers manipulating
phone system -- so-called phreaking or war-dialling. Increasingly, these
devices are being converted from dial-up to persistent IP network
connections, increasing the likelihood of attacks utilising techniques
as port scanning, Gartner claims.

To combat the inherent risks associated with widespread use of IP
Gartner advises companies to be develop voice and data networks "under
assumption of prolonged sporadic outages", explore alternative ways of
communicating, and monitor government alerts regarding the risk of

The Gartner report follows a warning earlier this week from the UK's
national infrastructure watchdog, the National Infrastructure Security
Coordination Centre, regarding several security flaws found in products
use VoIP and text messaging, including those from Microsoft and Cisco

The flaws affect software and hardware that support the real-time
communications and processing standard, known as the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) H.323 standard. 

Copyright C 2003 CNET Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
ZDNET is a registered service mark of CNET Networks, Inc. ZDNET Logo is
service mark of CNET NETWORKS, Inc.

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