world war E
dispatches from the network society

Archive for the ‘skirmishes’ Category

cyberskirmish in Zimbabwe

August 10, 2007

Responding to an alleged ‘cyberwar’ sponsored by the U.S., President Mugabe’s government has blocked access to 41 websites, including CNN, which it accused of fomenting insurrection. Advertisements

Estonia: cyberbattle or cyber-riot?

August 10, 2007

John Borland at Wired criticizes the widespread adoption of a cyberwar framework for describing the attack on Estonia in April. Rather than a cyberwar, he cites an Israeli network analysts view that the attack was a ‘cyber-riot’: “The whole idea of…online mob psychology, is taking psychological warfare and putting it on the offensive.” However, the […]

Gonzales hearings bring attention back to datamining

August 9, 2007

Senate hearings into whether or not U.S. Attorney General misled Congress on secret surveillance programs centered on the NSA’s secret datamining program, disclosed in 2004. Specifically, the hearings focused on an incident in March 2004 when Gonzales – then White House counsel – attempted to pressure then-AG John Ashcroft (on his hospital bed recovering from […]

the networked kremlin

July 26, 2007

“YouTube for the Russian opposition is the only way to communicate.” – Gary Kasparov Opposition politicians and independent media in Russia claim that the Kremlin is behind a string of attacks on their web sites, part of a systemic effort to intimidate and obstruct the free flow of information. The targeted politicians fall on both […]

recent cyber skirmishes in China

July 25, 2007

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) draws attention to recent official and unofficial (?) attacks on Chinese news and human rights websites: The Shanghai Information Bureau closed the literary forum Zhongguo Dangdai Shige Luntan. An employee of the hosting server commented in an interview: “All articles relating to politics, the Falungong movement or those critical of the […]

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 […]

DDoS attacks and human behavior

May 31, 2007

Even as systems are increasingly hardened against the typical arsenal of cyberwarfare, hackers (often in the employ of criminal organizations and – perhaps – even states) are exploiting gaps in the human behavioral response to changing technology. A recent attack, using the peer-to-peer client DC++, massed over 150,000 unique IP addresses to swarm Prolexic Technologies. […]

Trench War in the Caucasus

May 24, 2007

Armenian and Azeri hackers fight a guerrilla war over Nagorno-Karabakh in cyber-trenches. [via Paul]

Active e-skirmishes

May 21, 2007

Ethan Zuckerman describes how activists are using new networked tools to circumvent the authorities’ restrictions. These include: Zimbabwean e-cards commemorating the forced evictions of Murambatsvina Tunisian on-line prison maps, adapted from Google Maps to show the location of prisons and the profiles of political prisoners Egyptian Twitter used to dispatch message from human rights activist […]