Keeping Defense.gov Up Isn't A National Security Issue
from the cyber-vandalism dept
Apparently, last year's "cyber attacks" against Estonia have caused NATO to set up a "cyber warfare" center that will coordinate responses to online security threats. This is silly. The article says that the Estonian attacks succeeded in "knocking some financial systems in the country offline for several hours," but if you read press accounts of the attacks more closely, what you find is that the attacks mostly forced the websites of several financial institutions offline. I'm sure that was annoying for Estonians who couldn't check their bank balances, but there's a big difference between "annoyance" and "national security threat." Equally silly is the Air Force's proposal to develop a military botnet for launching distributed denial-of-service attacks against America's enemies. The Internet is not a military network; the military has maintained its own, separate, TCP/IP-based network for military operations since the 1970s. Most other countries have undoubtedly followed suit. Which means that "cyber warfare" can't accomplish much more than to knock out some websites in foreign countries. And while that's certainly going to be annoying for users of the affected websites, it's not a national security issue, and the world's militaries have far more urgent things to worry about.