Cyber ​​chess, a game just begun

Pierluigi Paganini January 27, 2012

So far this year we have witnessed an escalation of attacks against those who are considered the major superpowers on cyber warfare, U.S. and Israel. Real motivated attacks in cyberspace capable of paralyzing the critical services of the target countries and after this offensive is lawful expect a reply first under warfare matter and of course after through the official channels of politics and international relations. This first statement must lead us to a first consideration:
in these years we are witnessing an interesting phenomenon, namely the first skirmishes and the first comparisons are usually observed just in cyber space. Careful observation of this new boundless territory provides a prime location for those wishing to anticipate intentions and policies of some of the major powers in the world, then if we cross this information with macroeconomic and political data, we can tailor information to the precious analysis of global situation.

Let’s try to throw down with what could be the first pieces of a similar analysis.
Put on the table the following checkers U.S., Israel, Iran, North Korea, Japan, Russia, India, China and the European bloc, easy to identify the most active among Iran and China, which we attribute almost all of the events in cyber space, intelligence operations conducted against private companies and governments in search of intelligence and military actions aimed at destabilizing the considered country’s main services.

No doubt that Iran is the most noisy nation with continue proclamations to intimidate Western Nations, but in more than one occasion I wondered if the threats are real, or they are part of a diversion strategy behind which conceal much of worrying paws, China and Russia.

Many Governments are worried by China and Russia’s online spying, and they are pushing to have to treat state-based covert activities as the equivalent of acts of war.
American officials have grown increasingly concerned about massive and strategic efforts by China and Russia to use U.S. network vulnerabilities to steal American know-how, they are firmly convinced that an adequate defense strategy should be implemented, and not alone, many of them are pushing it so that the U.S. engage in offensive actions with greater determination.

To own the truth, the U.S. have always been attentive to the warfare, evidence for this is that more faces were pointed out as responsible for covert operations or development of cyber weapon as Stuxnet. Officially, the U.S. government has always assumed a defensive position on the issue by denying any award, but it’s clear its commitment in this area.
Within the U.S. government has established, however, one other current, convinced of the need for peacekeepers in cyber space, Moscow and Beijing, intended as allies against rogue states from Iran to North Korea. The alliance must be consolidated through the sharing of threat information from these states and through partnerships in operations to reduce the cyber threat. The danger of a cyber 11/9 event is a real, and even then there may be considerable loss of life, “a cyber Pearl Harbor is not a question of if, but when.”

The Israeli government is determined to pursue an offensive policy against those who will be involved in future attacks against the state.
Israeli hackers have indicated that they will conduct in the future not only simple DDOS attacks agaist the enemies, but instead will seek to cause they long term damage to the servers of financial, government and security websites, starting from the Arab world.
They are quite confident in the efficient protection they are developing. That will be able to prevent infiltration to national networks in future attacks.

Israeli and American intelligence agencies are convinced that if Iran were to gain the ability to build a bomb, it would be a result of its relationship with Russia, which was building a nuclear reactor for Iran at a site called Bushehr and had assisted the Iranians in their missile-development program and also thanks to Iran’s clandestine relationship with the network of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atom bomb. Don’t forget that Khan have already helped Iran during the building of the uranium-enrichment facility in Natanz, the one involved in Stuxnet case.
It is common thought that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012, and this event could cause an disaster from an economic perspective and it is also serious because is alter a instable equilibrium of areas like Middle East.

And where can we place in our board the U.E. block? I’d call it “dormant,” of undoubted skills in warfare such Governments are confronting with a unprecedented econimic crisis. Default risk for some nations is undermining the unity of U.E. for some time in the community. They are exposed to a large risk of cyber attacks.

I believe in fact that countries like Italy are now exposed to potential threats, for example to nation’s power grids, energy supply, public water systems and other critical systems.

Investment in cyber security is low and the continuing downward revisions to estimates of growth of the country does not portend anything good. We are very vulnerable!
To conclude our chess game can not keep out outsiders such as Pakistan, Syria and North Korea, countries that enjoy a considerable technical skill and, above all that they have dangerous relations with Russia and China, many accuse them of being satellites of the same nations.

I deliberately left to last India that I consider as a free beater, the Swiss of cyber space because it is without an uniquely defined political position, but with high skills and which are attributable, in my opinion, many of the cyber actions wrongly attributed to neighboring China.
But which is the state of the Cyber Warfare Defense And Security Of India?
India is increasingly targeted for cyber espionage, cyber warfare, cyber terrorism, but its response to the same is not so energic. Consider that the India haven’t still formulated a cyber warfare policy and, as usual, the word cyber security, in the Country has no meaning. This is same problem shared with a lot Countrys, awareness and threats perception has low level. There is no cyberspace crisis management plan for a Nation that has been envolved in the main criminal cyber attacks of the last months, from Stuxnet to Duqu. The scenario is so critical that NATO has requested stronger cooperation with India to counter growing cyber threats, due the growing attacks are addressing Indian critical infrastructure.

Pierluigi Paganini

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