News Column

World under the shadow of cyber warfare!

April 24, 2014

Sikandar Azam Khan

The dimensions of world always remained in paranoea and seeded such alternatives that always went against the original initiative being made. Rather the world is facing much tragic results of their own creation moving in the way of destruction.

Cyber warfare is not a new phenomenon but the directions seted by countries to seek their interests are not appreciable. Cyber warfare is the fifth domain of warfare; specifically the term refers to the action by nation state to penetrate another nation's computer networks for purpose of seeking secret data and causing some sort of damage. However, broader definitions claim that cyber warfare also includes acts of 'cyber hooliganism', cyber vandalism or cyber terrorism.

In 2004 series of cyber raids were carried out, believed to be supported by government cells in China and it was found that those hackers sneaked into the sensitive computer networks, in which the US military Intel was targeted.

All the classified information along with NASA was in great danger. Another operation of even disastrous nature was launched earlier to the Titan Raid (name given to the attack by FBI of 2004), and involvement being made by the Russia in which the US troop configurations along with the military maps and schematics were targeted. The hackers stabbed into the Americans computers and the raid was well carried out. The cyber attacks of same nature paved its way in the year 2008 as well.

A serious threat not only to America but to all the nations of world is pretty much evident. How to tackle such is a big question mark and massive electronic Achilles heel. In recent times everything is becoming increasingly dependent on computers and it seem the threat and damage impossible today is inescapable tomorrow? As it happens whether good or bad the space of cyber warfare is rising and seems to be the rise of challenges for attackers as well as for defenders. Countries are managing and using cyber-attacks as weapons.

The bad news is that countries beginning to see cyber war as means of exploiting targets. And the good news is that software companies are now reshaping the architectural features of their systems that allow such passiveness to exist in the first place. Countries like China and North Korea have initiated schools which are training the cyber warriors.

In Cyber warfare, cyber weapons are of low cost, it only needs a system and internet connection to make a catastrophic attack on the entire country.

Much of the countries are dwelling and taking some good steps to avoid cyber-attacks like Bulgaria, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States have signed agreements with NATO to cooperate in the event of a cyber attack. NATO is also strengthening the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, established in 2007. Based in Tallinn, Estonia, the center comprises a joint endeavor among Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States to boost cyber defense and exchange and made available the use of data. Turkey intends to join the effort, and NATO has shown interest in extending membership to Iceland. Ukraine is also part of a NATO working group on cyber and military reform.

Recently, in Pakistan, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed introduces national cyber security bill in the senate which is a step ahead to tackle the cyber warfare difficulties and challenges, so does the other nations are taking much more steps in this regard.

Although much has been achieved and is in way of progress but using the same technology with intention to deceive other nations will be even a tougher challenge to come up with and the suffered one's will be the masses living in those nations.

The countries though made advancement in the field of cyber warfare but couldn't formulate any concrete guideline to the usage of such innovations.

If viewed in the broader aspect nations now face amorphous range of threats to their security. Concrete slant and co operation has to be made by all the nations to eradicate the threats posed by the cyber crimes.

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Source: Daily Frontier Post (Afghanistan)