Cyber war

CSSS 5120

September 12, 2017

Quiz 1

Define state and non-state actors and discuss the types of cyber threats they pose to our nation. Include in your discussion the potential ‘impact’ (life, costs, government, etc.) of each set of actors against our nation.

State actors are people/organizations who are working or acting on behalf of a government, whereas non-state actors are people/organizations who are not acting on behalf of the government but still hold a sufficient amount of power. An example of a state actor would be a government employee and an example of a non-state actor is a criminal organization such as ISIS.

Both state actors and non-state actors can impact the economic well-being and national security of a particular country. State actors can impact the economic well-being of a nation-state through industrial spying, and can impact national security through cyberwarfare. Non-state actors can also impact the economic well-being of a nation-state through cybercrime and can impact national security through cyberterrorism. Both state and non-state actors can significantly impact/threaten life, communications, weapon systems, water, food financial institutions, the electric grid, cost, and civilians’ confidence in both technology and the government.

Layeski 2

Outline and discuss Clarke’s assessment that there are five “take aways” from the genesis of Cyberattacks as he presents in chapter one of Cyber War. Why is it important to understand these take aways and their role in fighting Cyberattacks?

The five “take aways” discussed in Clarke’s book are:

The first take away has been proven several times over the course of history. Clarke discusses several examples of cyber war within the first chapter including the Israeli operation against Syria; where the Israelis were able to hack into Syria’s radar so the Israeli aircraft could fly undetected through Syrian skies.

  • Cyber war is real
  • Cyber war happens at the speed of light
  • Cyber war is global
  • Cyber war skips the battlefield
  • Cyber war has begun

Second, cyber war happens very rapidly. The time it takes to launch a cyber attack and have the effect take place is almost immediate.

Cyber war is global, meaning hackers are able to easily hack into computers, networks, and servers from anywhere in the world. Clarke gives the example of Russia performing a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on Estonia, as well as some others.

The fourth take away is that cyber war skips the battlefield. Anything from banks to air defense radars can easily be taken out through cyber attacks from anywhere in the world, regardless of how close

Layeski 3

or far away the hacker is from the device. The “battlefield” for cyber war is virtual. Everyone is vulnerable to cyber war.

Lastly, cyber war has begun. Nations are already preparing for cyber war by hacking into each others networks and infrastructures and installing trapdoors as well as other ways to infiltrate the other country’s cyber ecosystem.

These five take aways in Clarke’s book Cyber War are extremely important to understand because they are the very basics of cyber war. If we don’t understand these take aways, then we can’t even begin to successfully find new ways to protect ourselves and our nation.