viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra

Cyber War looks at possible online attacks

This is a very important and frightening book about the dangers of the “cyber war” by an expert who was advisor (assistant vice president and other titles) to three presidents and now teaches at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Basically, though our cyber capability is very high, our defense against attacks in cyber space is virtually non-existent. An attack at this point would bring all activities in the country to a halt – so dependent is the industrial world on their power grids.

We have evidence, Clarke says, that there have been “trial runs at cyber war.”  The U.S., China, Russia and others are investing heavily in cyber war units. The U.S., however, places higher emphasis on our ability to attack, rather than on defending ourselves – and he sees this as a considerable problem.

The complications and implications of major countries preparing for cyber war are mind-boggling.   The 5,000-6,000 workers in the U.S. government have to be constantly on the alert.

The author says he personally distributed the White House website onto 20,000 servers in 2001 – averting a shutdown after a code red worm infected 300,000 computers, turning them into zombies programmed to launch a “Distributed Denial of Service.” This is a technique that floods a site with more requests for data than the site can respond to or process, bringing cyber service to a halt.

In the days after 9/11, another more serious worm, NIMDA (ADMIN spelled backward), infected bank and Wall Street firms.

We haven’t had one yet, but Clarke gives us a vivid picture of a few of the outcomes of such an all-out attack.

So dependent on cyber works is every industrial, government, trade and banking system that the devastation of an attack – which happens in minutes – is incalculable: a nation in blackout, planes falling from the sky, subways crashing, gas lines exploding, financial systems frozen, communication satellites spinning out of orbit, people trying to report to the government unable to get through, train system failures so that  people can’t get food, power will not come back up because nuclear plants have gone into secure lock-down – and so on.

Unable to get cash from banks or ATMs, looting begins. The author writes, “A sophisticated cyber attack by one of the several nation-states could do that and more in 15 minutes.”

There is an urgent need for broad public dialogue about cyber effects, says Clarke, acknowledging that one reason for the lack of such dialogue is the secrecy of these affairs. A suggestion was made by Senator Bob Bennett that there be one committee authorized to examine cyber security. As of 2010, there were 28.

The internet is now 40. When it was designed, no thought was given to security. And, Clarke tells us, redesigning software with a view to security is urgent.

Due to the many errors that now exist, hackers can get in, often without leaving a trace. And there is no end to the damage currently possible.

There is a system, however – a new military protocol now being worked on that has the capability of dealing with cyber crime, espionage and cyber war.  Although there is no timetable, nor a method of applying it to the general internet, it has the capability of making the internet secure some day.

At the end of the book he imagines a speech by Barack Obama in which the president would tell the world that we would treat a cyber attack as we would treat a kinetic attack – impose on other nations the obligation to assist in investigating and stopping cyber wars.

Clarke writes in the simplest, most direct – often wry – language and even with dry wit.

His thoughts are developed logically; he mobilizes those thoughts and the amazing amount of information he has by introducing his subjects, explaining his terms and giving examples.

Book info: 

Cyber War: The Next Threat to Security and What to Do About It

By Richard Clarke and Robert K. Knake

HarperCollins, $25.99

Share This Post

Posted by on August 30, 2012. Filed under Arts and Entertainment,Book Reviews,Columns,Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online generic viagra accutane buy phentermine viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra