Cyber Warfare and National Security…NA Imperative

Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have drastically increased the porosity between national borders. The increased porosity and anonymity of the Internet superimposed in a complex interaction that enables criminal and violent groups, transnational terrorist organizations and companies engaged in espionage to expand their operations globally. The tempo of our lives is being increased due to the compression of time and the shrinking of distances across the world. Given the dynamics of international power play, including changes in war fighting methods, with the blurred nature of the cyberspace there is no doubt that the terrestrial distance between adversaries becomes irrelevant making everyone a next-door neighbor in cyberspace. This development in cyberspace cannot be ignored by any military in the quest for improving its national security.

The most powerful weapons in cyber terrorism are not based on physical strength but logic and innovation in cyberspace, hence, a threat to national security. Computer hardware, software, and bandwidth forms the wherewithal for implementing a robust cyberwarfare for individual organization and state and also to transnational criminal organizations thereby posing a threat to national security.

Countries across the world are experiencing different levels of cyber attacks. The Russian Federation’s cyber attacks against Estonia in 2007, Israeli cyber attacks on Syria in 2007 and Georgia in 2008 are typical examples of cyberwarfare application to undermine national security. Also the cyber spy network called “GhostNet” in 2009 that accessed confidential information belonging to both governmental and private organizations in over 100 countries around the world cannot be over ruled. GhostNet was reported to originate from China, although the country denied responsibility. According to the Imperial War Museum (IWM) research, wide-range cyber-exploitation network GhostNet, contaminated minimum of 1,295 computers in 103 countries and 30% of the targeted objects are to be evaluated as high value, as far as the political, diplomatic, economic, and military criteria are concerned.

According to Forbs, the Stuxnet worm invasion of Iranian nuclear facilities in June 2010 is a typical case of cyberwarfare application, suspected to be fashioned by either the U.S. or Israei government designed to attack the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran. The following spots fall into range of the high-value targets’ list;

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