Last week I was reading a blog on this same site about the changing factors on war brought on by information technology by Glenn de Jong, in which the mainly focused on actual war but it got me thinking about wars not on the physical domain but on the virtual world.

The first major strategic attack was that of the virus Stuxnet that was built to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, it has was carefully designed to be hidden was reportedly written by Israel and the United States.

The United States are already preparing for this kind of warfare; the classified documents of the NSA that were leaked by Edward Snowden contain information about the digital warfare capabilities. The documents mention various different ways how the NSA is operating in this new domain of warfare.

The NSA is mainly focusing in gathering information, in which the Remote Operations Center (ROC) is in the central unit of operation, their motto: ‘Your data is our data, your equipment is our equipment — any time, any place, by any legal means’.

But the NSA goes further than just gathering information their TAO/ATO Persistence Politerain (CNA) is tasked with remotely destroying other countries network devises like computers, routers, and network-enabled devices by using young hackers and low-level program.

But the NSA is not only looking to gather information from its enemies even befriend countries like Germany are being hacked, in 2013 news broke out that the NSA had hacked the mobile phone of chancellor Angela Merkel.

I found a really interesting quote that in my eyes really describe how information technology is changing modern warfare:

Warfare is no longer adequately defined as violent campaigns and battles sought among armed fighting forces occurring between periods of peace. War is now a continuous battle between diverse multi-faceted actors waged primarily in the virtual cyber domain, occasionally accompanied by violent clashes in the physical domain. When changes to warfare are this fundamental, it requires a new framework of war to guide strategy, doctrine development, and military operations at all levels of warfare. (M. Williamson, 2012).

To illustrate how relevant this new framework of war is, on http://map.norsecorp.com/ you can see a real-time map of IT attacks, you can see the orgin region of this attack, the target and the type of attack. While writing this piece China launched 1181 attacks and the US was targeted by 3003 attacks, this all happened in around one hour;

Online hacking

For me the idea of a world constantly in cyber war, in which you do not know if information is real, where all your tracks are being followed is a scary and frightful world, what are your opinions about his?

-Siebe Kylstra

Sources:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/snowden-docs-reveal-nsa-digital-warfare-capabilities/

http://map.norsecorp.com/

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a562392.pdf

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/18/germany-nsa-angela-merkel-hacking

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