Information Warfare: We Have Met The Enemy, And It Is Us

Archives

August 30, 2006: The U.S. Army has faced up to the fact that, in Cyber War, they have met the enemy, and it is us. For example, in the last ten months, there were sixty cases where hackers penetrated army networks. These all took place at fifteen army bases in the United States. As bad as that was, there were also 6,100 cases where sloppy work by soldiers allowed viruses, Trojan horses and other malware to get onto an army network. While most of these automated hacks were not looking for classified information, or collecting information for later, wartime, attacks on the army systems, they did penetrate the army defenses.
Foreign Cyber War organizations apparently have become aware of this major weakness, and are now launching email attacks on people with .mil email addresses. This gets the attackers into military networks, where the attached virus or worm can turn army PCs into zombies, at least until a diligent army systems administrator comes along searching for this sort of malware.
The sixty deliberate hacker attacks (that succeeded, and were detected) may have done more damage. But the 6,100 penetrations due to sloppiness or ignorance (poorly trained computer users and systems administrators) are potentially the largest vulnerability. When you count the reserves (which you have to, as the reservist troops have access to most army networks), the army has over a million users, thousands of major networks and over half a million PCs (and over a million computers, although not all of them are on networks, yet). You can pile on all manner of hardware and software defenses on the most critical systems, but with so many poorly trained users and systems staff, you always have a huge vulnerability to contend with. And this is the vulnerability that Cyber War operators are increasingly concentrating on.

 


Article Archive

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


X

ad
0
20

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