Information Warfare: Spear Phishing the Troops


August 31, 2007: U.S. Department of Defense security officials were rather disturbed recently when they discovered that military personnel were getting targeted emails from hackers. If the soldier tried to open the attacked file, their computer who have hacking software secretly installed. This software would basically give the hacker control of that PC, making it possible to monitor what the user does on the computer, and have access to whatever is on that machine. While many troops sense that the "spear fishing" (or "phishing") attack is just that, some don't, and it only takes a few compromised PCs to give someone access to a lot of secret information. This would be the case even if it is home PCs that are being infected.

The Department of Defense has 11 million Internet users, five million PCs and 12,000 networks, and is the largest Internet user on the planet. In addition, there are millions of home PCs used by military and government personnel. Security researchers are trying to find out what kind of list (of military email addresses) was compiled for these attacks, and where the lists came from. These attacks could be in search of classified information, or attempts to set up military networks (with software that will take these systems down) for a future attack.

All the services are scrambling to get their Cyber War defenses strengthened. The U.S. Air Force is trying to establish itself as the primary Cyber War organization in the Department of Defense, but in a case like this, the best defense is alerting and training individual troops.


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close