Information Warfare: November 15, 2001


Cyber attacks on Defense Department computer networks had been level at 22,500 per year for some time, dipped considerably after 11 Sept, but are now on a steady rise, reaching an annual rate of 40,000 by the end of this year. The attacks are increasing in complexity and destructiveness. While some are no doubt hackers who just happen to oppose US military operations, some appear to be part of a concerted attack pattern, indicating that al Qaeda or other Islamic fundamentalist groups may have at least a minimal capability in this regard. American cyber war attacks are such new technology that every operation has to be approved at very high levels. As the US attack methods become known, counters will be developed, and the US doesn't want to "waste" this new technology against a nation with no real computer networks to attack. --Stephen V Cole


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