Cyber War – Real Time View

The world has no shortage of war, so it’s no surprise to discover another one.
But this one is different in that it doesn’t involve all the traditional tools of war; armies, guns, tanks, missiles, drones, and country invasion. Although it does retain the ability to inflict pain, suffering and misery.

It has been fueled by the growth in technology, and thrives on the inability of individuals to consider the unintended consequences of their actions.
Like all modern wars, it can be viewed on a screen, just like a computer game.

NORSE ScreenShot

Click the image to follow the action provided by security company Norse .

These are real time attacks from one computer to another, probing security systems, looking for a way in. But don’t be misled by the implication this is ‘China’ vs the ‘USA’, or any other country.

It’s way more subtle than that.

This is a war without frontiers, uniforms, or even a clearly defined enemy.
The attack location can be anywhere on the planet, as can the target.
Attackers can include small-time thieves, drug dealers, arms dealers, organized crime, commercial competition, activists, rogue states, secret states, and governments, to name just a few.

It’s under reported, so makes it difficult to know which activities are the result of cyber attacks and which aren’t. Quite often those that suffer the outages aren’t certain either.

On the 8th July this year, one day after the China stock market crash, several incidents happened on the same day in USA. Computer ‘glitches’ were blamed;

1. The NYC subway system left a few trains stuck in some stations for extended periods of time.
2. United Airlines’ computer system stopped working, forcing all flights from the airline to be grounded.
3. The New York Stock Exchange’s computerized trading system also stopped working, causing trading to be suspended, a big deal in one of, if not the, world’s largest trading market.
4. Following the New York Stock Exchange failure, the Wall Street Journal’s website also malfunctioned.
5. Over 2,500 residents in Washington, DC lost power.

Maybe, but the capacity of cyber-war to devastate Power, Water or Communications infrastructure is proven.

A recent internet outage lasting only 5 days provided a sharp and timely reminder to me of just how dependent we have become on technology, and how difficult life could be with sustained outages.

The mesmerisingly pretty graphics mask that reality.


(If time permits, I’ll post a more detailed perspective later).




Filed under Privacy, Technology

12 responses to “Cyber War – Real Time View

  1. jennmelo

    Reblogged this on Food for Thought.

  2. Pingback: Cyber War Pt 2: Unintended Consequences | theneedleblog

  3. dpack

    that one was done up close and personal ,perhaps by social engineering the choice of software and then adding the start code to that when required.

    the centrifuges tried to run at serious overspeed and mostly broke before they could shut them down.

    it wasnt an “over the web”attack afaik

  4. Gary

    Not forgetting the Cyber Àttack on Iran’s nuclear facilities by USA.

  5. TFS

    And yet with that map you are never likely to understand who initiated the attack.

    I’ve seen the presstitute media pronounce that China performed a DOS attack against it, only to find out later that some security reacher had come up with a new internet fingerporinting tool, vastly faster than its predecessors.

    Our press and governments are involved in propoganda. This is just another avenue of exploitation

  6. joekano76

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  7. gw

    mmm. St Louis seems to be getting pounded all the time (BAE Defence I presume). Note the red dot in the north of England – that be RAF Menwith Hill.

    • gw

      We are living in very strange times indeed. I think the technological revolution of which we are only in the infancy of will change the world in a far more dramatic way then the industrial age did to the agrarian… be it cyberwarfare, drone strikes, AI and so forth.

      In this fantastic lecture Rick Roderick compares the opening lines to Moby Dick and Neuromancer with reference to the two ages.

      “Referring all the way backward to a biblical text, and all the way forward to a new adventure. A new American adventure. In living a life that would allow for difference and community, it would allow for freedom, and the recognition of necessity.” he writes of Moby Dick – “Call me Ishmael”

      As we enter the 21st Century he suggests that the opening line to define our age is from Neuromancer:

      “That project ends, in my view… or at least the dawning of the end, in Gibson. In that wonderful first sentence;

      ‘The sky above the port was the colour of television tuned to a dead channel’ ”

      As I sit in my garden looking up into the hazy London sky (the colour of coca cola) and the jetliners flying over head I recall the image of the dead television channel.

      What opportunities and challenges await us. Nothing is truly better or worse.. just different.

    • dpack

      nsa in st louis ,the seattle node is important but im not quite sure what it is

      i saw this site a while back,it eats bandwidth but is quite educational.
      origin of attack isnt always the same location as author of attack as the best way is to use proxy launch pads .

  8. Shades of “Body of Glass” by Marge Piercy?