ISSUED BY: GCIS Communications Command Center


07March2011 9:00amEST

GCIS CYBER-SECURITY UPDATE: Computer networks are essential to global productivity and collaboration. They also are weapons: More harm is possible from a network attack than from a machine gun, according to experts gathered in London to discuss cyberwar.

CyberspaceCyberspace is the global nervous system, explained Raul Rikk, who heads the cybersecurity department for Trustcorp Limited, but cyberspace also is a new dimension of warfare. “You have to have a license to own a gun, but not so for computers,” he emphasized. The Internet is an incubator for criminal and terrorist activity, agreed Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., USN, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; commander, Striking and Support Forces NATO; Joint Force Maritime component commander, Europe; deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; and deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, speaking just before the start of the two-day Technet International conference, held October 28-29.

The pace of cyberattacks is increasing, and those with harmful intentions are finding unique ways to infiltrate not only computers connected to the Internet but also computers that never were connected to the online world. Stuxnet, a computer worm that targets critical industrial infrastructure, was an entirely new type of attack. Tony Roadknight, technical architect, Nexor, called the worm a cyber missile, not just cyber mayhem. Part of the attack had to include individuals with infected media who accessed the closed system. The ability of the worm to target only certain systems and then hide the changes has made tracking its source, or even its purpose, difficult. (read full report)