[ISN] How to fight a cyberwar

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Apr 22 1999 - 18:58:28 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Erik Parker <netmaskat_private>
    3:00 a.m.  20.Apr.99.PDT
    Future terrorists will take to the Internet to pursue campaigns of
    disruption instead of destruction, a new report predicts. 
    Terrorists are already tech-savvy, the Rand Corporation paper claims. 
    Osama bin Laden's remote Afghan retreat is well wired: "The terrorist
    financier has computers, communications equipment, and a large number of
    disks for data storage." 
    Hamas has also taken to the Internet to exchange operational information. 
    For example, operatives communicate via chat rooms and email. 
    The report distinguishes between "cyberwar" -- a military operation -- and
    "Netwar," which, the authors believe, will consist of nonmilitary attacks
    perpetrated by individuals rather than countries. "Whereas cyberwar
    usually pits formal military forces against each other, Netwar is more
    likely to involve nonstate, paramilitary, and irregular forces." 
    The report, prepared for the US Air Force, recommends that the Pentagon
    stop modernizing all computer systems and communications links. "Full
    interconnectivity may in fact allow cyberterrorists to enter where they
    could not [before]," it says. 
    The report warns that terrorism "will focus on urban areas with strong
    political and operational constraints." Translation: It's difficult for
    the Air Force to bomb the bejesus out of a terrorist nest if it's in
    downtown New York. 
    Another recommendation is that the Air Force develop better spying
    technologies. Instead of trying to break encryption, the military should
    develop "capabilities for reading emanations" from computer monitors,
    perhaps through "very small, unmanned aerial vehicles." 
    Other studies have reached similar conclusions about online terrorists. 
    "The Internet -- and the window to it, the computer terminal -- have
    become two of the most important pieces of equipment in the extremists'
    arsenals, not only allowing them to build membership and improve
    organization, but to strike alliances with people and groups, even a
    decade ago, that they might never have known about or been able to easily
    communicate with," says a report prepared in April 1998 for the Chemical
    Manufacturers Association. The report's authors are former officials from
    the US Secret Service and the CIA's counterterrorism center. 
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