world war E
dispatches from the network society

Archive for the ‘salvos’ Category

burma cuts off internet

September 29, 2007

Reports are in that the Burmese government has severed that country’s internet links to the outside world in an effort to halt the global distribution of news and images of repression, using the guise of a damaged cable. While many countries selectively control the inflow of information (viz. Zimbabwe), these reports – if correct – […]

global governance and cyberwar

August 9, 2007

The Economist reports that in the wake of the cyberwar waged on Estonia, NATO is reconsidering its collective security arrangements. In a nutshell, because the network society transcends conventional political boundaries (excepting places bounded, like China, by great national firewalls), collective security arrangements based on territorial alliances like NATO are inadequate to prevent the contagion […]

salvo hits the Pentagon

June 21, 2007

1,500 computers were taken offline on June 21 in the wake of a cyber assault on the Department of Defense. Secretary Gates was non-plussed: “I don’t do e-mail. I’m a very low-tech person.”

malware blitz on italy

June 19, 2007

Reports are surfacing of large-scale attacks on Italian web servers using commercial malware software apparently sold by a Russian gang. Ars Technica explains: Currently at version 0.86, MPack provides would-be malware installers with a complete package that can be installed on any web server that runs PHP with an SQL database. The owners of MPack […]

Putin Youth behind cyberwar?

June 6, 2007

Via Ars Technica, an Estonian-language website [] claims that the Putin-allied Russian youth movement Nashi was behind the cyberattack on Estonia. Though highly speculative, given the globally dispersed botnets used to overload Estonia’s internet architecture, the allegations are supported by demonstrations staged by Nashi in front of the Estonian consulate in Moscow in late April, […]

estonia’s opening act

June 1, 2007

The IHT enters the fray by heralding “In Estonia, what may be the first war in cyberspace.” While Estonia may be the opening act of state-centred cyberwarfare, cyber-battles are ongoing along multiple fronts, in multiple geographic and virtual territories, as the posts on this blog show. Indeed, Estonia’s plight captures the media attention precisely because […]

pitched battles 1986-2007

June 1, 2007

The Economist lists some of the volleys lobbed during the brief history of cyberwarfare: 1986: Soviet hackers attack Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. 1998: A Russian hacker infiltrates NASA, potentially endangering a shuttle mission. 1999: The NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade unleashes a cyber-assault on U.S. government sites. 2000: Arab and […]

skynet 2007

June 1, 2007

In March, the British military launched the rather unfortunately-named SKYNET 5A communications satellite, the first of three satellites intended to boost intercommunication and interoperability among the British army, navy and air force. The satellite is reportedly hardened against intercept and cyber-interference. As Jane’s Information Group noted of the launch: Modern warfare is all about information. […]

E-stonia update

May 29, 2007

A bit behind the filing deadline, the New York Times nonetheless fills in some of the gaps in narrating Estonia’s cyberbattle. Including this: Though Estonia cannot be sure of the attackers’ identities, their plans were posted on the Internet even before the attack began. On Russian-language forums and chat groups, the investigators found detailed instructions […]

first salvo, 27 april 2007

May 21, 2007

The first salvo of World War E was launched against Estonia.