Russia-Georgia CyberWar Assessment
By Aaron Mannes
The Guardian Online just posted an assessment I co-wrote with my friend Jim Hendler (computer science professor at RPI) about the Georgia-Russia cyberwar.
The first modern cyberwar?
Aaron Mannes and James Hendler
Friday August 22 2008
The Russian-Georgian conflict is being described as the first time cyber-attacks have accompanied an actual war. Last year, the Russian-Estonian spat was described as the first modern cyber-war. These descriptions over dramatise events and are a distraction from the more prosaic, but more serious, danger these illicit cyber-actions represent. The technology used in these cyber-conflicts has only limited strategic impact, but represents a major threat to one of the most successful engines of human freedom and opportunity - the World Wide Web itself.
The strikes against Georgian government websites, along with last April's attacks against Estonian websites, were distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) where many computers simultaneously send messages to a website, preventing legitimate traffic from reaching the site. These attacks are relatively easy to launch, but taking a website down does not affect real world infrastructure and competent IT professionals can counter or at least mitigate DDoS attacks. The increasing volume and sophistication of these attacks is a subject much discussed among IT professionals, but its impact is to create an inconvenience.
Read the complete article here. http://terrorwonk.blogspot.com/2008/08/aaron-mannes-in-guardian-russia-georgia.html