Cyberwarfare transcends our common comprehension of ethics. Ika nga, all is fair in love and war diba?
Chances are the topics here may not affect you directly. The shockwaves do. The ones that ripple through the world as copycats reverse-engineer trojans, delayed flights and hackers stealing your password and posting nasty spam in your facebook page affect society. They affect you, indirectly.
So forget about dumb generic malware. Look at the grander scheme of things as nation-states, terrorist organizations and covert spy networks the world over are ratcheting up their capabilities to destroy our beloved internets. For it is always the people that suffer when the high lords play their game of thrones. And knowing is half the battle, G.I. JOE!!!!
With the world’s proliferation of amateur programmers, they’re bound to be some geniuses who can hack into any “invulnerable” program. China, a growing superpower and the most effective internet monitoring regime is slowly building up its technological edge. With over a billion people to choose from, the land of pirated schlock goods is producing quality hackers left and right. The Chinese Army, quick in grasping the need to defend and prepare for a cyber-attack, is hand-selecting 30 elite hackers for its primary cyberwar unit.
Add to that suspicions of Beijing’s direct hand in covert acquisition of coveted technology the globe over; we now in our direct neighbor growing capacity to project and destroy any who oppose the Godless Communists and their North Korean neighbors.
From espionage, sabotage to just all around nuisance: malware is ever-present. The malicious code of the cyber-warrior meanwhile is not your “average dumb program”. Written by the best mathematicians, computer programmers and engineers nation-states can buy, these actors are designing with specific targets. Nucler power plants, critical computers, and sensitive data are the usual victims of these infiltrations. Not just to steal money or send you crappy advertising to computers but in crippling organizations and systems that rely on them.
The most sensational of which was the Stuxnet virus. With an overloaded size of 20MB, the virus used multiple zero-day(unknown to anyone else) vulnerabilities, faked hardware certificates and infected USB’s to travel inside a secure nuclear facility. Sabotaging and faking results to the site’s operators, the virus effectively delayed Iran’s nuclear ambitions. All did go well, until it spread outside and made the world fuss about it.
No one has any leads on its origin.
If you’re the type to be very concerned about international incidents, then coding crippling programs is for you. But if you wanna take out the infrastructure that relay the info, you’ll need something a little less discreet. Enter the hardware:
- GPS Jammers: We keep on forgetting that peripheral devices connected to computers matter too. Used in many devices such as helicopters, GPS are becoming so ubiquitous that disabling GPS in a selected area (say Incheon Airport) is an effective way of pissing off your neighbor.
- EMP Weapons: Like in that movie, OCEAN’s 11 except they’re real. Plus they can come in small sizes. EMP weapons can knock out all electric devices in range while maintaining biological livability. Thereby disabling all computers and electric grids.
- Anti-satellite weapons: When you just have to take out those satellites in space. Warning:May cause a heatly-debated discussion and international treaties banning such weapons. Use sparingly.