Not Soiling Yourself Over Cyberwar? Your brain is A-OK

Posted in Cyberterrorism, Extremism, War On Terror at 2:01 pm by George Smith

The daily dishwater on cyberwar, this time from the Times of London. “If you’re not worried, you have not been paying attention,” warns the writer.

“[Cyberwar] would be like being teleported back to the 1970s,” it is said. “Even a minor conflict could slow the global Internet to a crawl. So cyber-war is a bit like nuclear war, in that even a minor outbreak threatens everyone’s life and welfare.”

Is your life threatened when you cannot log on to Twitter? Well, OK, that’s a trick question. We already know that the upper class swells on CNN and in newspaper features sections wouldn’t be able to go on with life.

OK, ok, but you’d quickly starve during an all out cyberwar. That’s for sure. The local supermarket with all the fancy signs wouldn’t sell you food and it certainly wouldn’t give you a dollar off on all those things when you punch in your telephone number. And I bet your cable digital TV and phone wouldn’t work either, just like in that movie where Bruce Willis as John McClane battles the annoying cyberterrorist who used to work for the Pentagon.

That was a good movie. The annoying cyberterrorist had a really hot chick who could kickbox as his henchwoman.

Anyway, cyberwar will be so bad you’ll have to find your own corner market, one not connected to the Internet, for your fortified wines.

So, what to do when the nuclear apocalypsecyberwar begins?

Cyber-carpet-bombing is the correct response, DD reported this weekend.

“[One expert] recounts what one of the staff told him about how NATO would react to a [new] cyber-strike,” reports the Times. “Overwhelming response: a single, gigantic counterstrike that cripples the target and warns anyone else off launching a future cyber-war. He isn’t sure what it would look like, but the show of force he envisages is so severe that the only thing he can compare it to is a nuclear attack.”

Just for amusement, DD has hit the Wayback Machine and retrieved similar quotes from 2001, when another excitable fellow — an alleged cyberwar expert by the name of James Adams — was often in the news about total cyberwar.

“Y2K will illustrate what an attack could do… Anybody who says after January 1, 2000 that this [threat of cyber attack] is all just made up I think is an idiot.” From the University of Southern California’s Networker magazine, winter 98-99.

Pentagon hackers employed in Eligible Receiver “did more than the massed might of Saddam Hussein’s armies, than the Nazis in the Second World War.” — from Techweek, 1999.

“”One need only look at today’s headlines to recognize industry’s need for iDefense … iDefense draws upon an unparalleled understanding of the critical infrastructure and a keen awareness of the growing threats and vulnerabilities confronting industry to provide its clients a timely and truly unique service.” — from the PR Newswire, June 1999.

“Which brings us to the final rung on the escalatory ladder: the virtual equivalent of nuclear deployment. I offer as illustration Eligible Receiver.” From a speech, “The Future of War,” delivered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, June 2000.

“Consider the recent LoveLetter virus … The effect? The equivalent of a modest
war … No terrorist organization in history has ever achieved such damage with a single attack. Few small wars cost so much … The LoveLetter attack was indeed the first real taste of terrible things to come.” Also from “The Future of War.”

“Estimates of the cost of [the LoveLetter virus] to the United States range from $4 billion to $15 billion — or the equivalent, in conventional war terms, of the carpet-bombing of a small American city.” From Foreign Affairs magazine, May-June 2001.

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