Monday, February 2, 2009

Cyber Attacks May Be Connected With Real War

This article discusses the possible correlation between online attackers and the shooting war between Russia and Georgia last August. Georgia's websites began being attacked close to three weeks before the war broke out. The attackers inserted a slide show onto the foreign ministry's website which compared Georgia's president to Adolf Hitler. Online attackers also took control of a significantly large number of Georgian computers and overloaded them with junk traffic. This widespread overload largely impacted the Georgian nation's abilities to communicate throughout. But who is to blame? The Russian government and the Russian Business Network (a Russian cyber-criminal group) are both under suspicion. Unfortunately however, no one knows for sure who was really responsible for these attacks, due the difficulty of pinpointing an online attack. Bill Woodcock, the research director with the Internet infrastructure group emphasizes the difficulty of assigning blame. He says, "You'll never be able to establish who was sitting in front of a computer from which an attack originates."

Reading this article raises a huge red flag. It shows me how society today is becoming overly reliable on computer technology. While computer technology is faster and easier to use, it can be easily disrupted. It is also difficult to figure out the reasons for these disruptions when they do occur. These online cyber attacks could very easily mislead national officials to believe that other nations, who have been recognized as enemies, are responsible for such attacks. They could also lead officials to make improper decisions. I believe that, though technology has come a long way and is continually being improved upon, certain types of technologies should not be used for certain types of communication if they are not one hundred percent reliable.

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