Washington, DC - At eleven AM, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 2018, the world will commemorate the end of World War I, which back in the day was called “the war to end all wars.” But, it didn’t.
"In fact, the 20th Century was a particularly bellicose period in the history of the world. And, a hundred years later – in the 21st Century – a new way to wage war has emerged. It’s called cyber warfare and it does not rely on bullets and battleships. Rather, instead of brave foot soldiers, artillery brigades, fighter pilots and sea captains, this new kind of conflict relies on sedentary computer technicians and the World Wide Web. This new battleground has no defined theaters of operation; it exists in time and space. But, it is very real and very deadly, perhaps even more so than the way wars were fought in the past,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
A few months ago, Army Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, was appointed as the new Director of the National Security Agency [NSA]. He is also the new chief of the U.S. Cyber Command [USCYBERCOM], which does in cyberspace what traditional military forces do on land, air and sea.
During his confirmation hearings, General Nakasone stated, “the current level and tempo of cyber attacks [against the U.S.] is not tolerable. Our adversaries see opportunity for strategic advantage through continuous activity in the domain. We must act purposefully to frustrate their intentions, increase their costs, and decrease their likelihood of success."
He said that USCYBERCOM is engaged in the task of “aggressively defending our network, conducting daily operations against adversaries, and strengthening the combat power and lethality of U.S. forces around the world.”
Weber points out that there are 195 countries in the world and that perhaps more than 120 of them have developed the capacity to weaponize the Internet. “Chief among them are Russia and China. But, America’s cyber forces, along with those of strategic allies such as Israel, are well prepared to overcome the threat they pose.”
An article by analyst Bob Mason on the NASDAQ Web site identifies America and Israel as having the world’s most formidable cyber forces.
The most obvious threats posed by the cyber enemies of the U.S. are designed to target the nation’s infrastructure and financial institutions, according to Weber. “But, there is an even more dangerous peril – the ability of bad actors to use the Internet to create chaos and revolutionary dissension via social media. One can only wonder if the intense anti-government protests, in the guise of a movement to bring down President Trump, are not the carefully orchestrated activities of cyber enemies, both domestic and foreign.”
Weber’s speculation is not so far-fetched. Facebook revealed to Congress recently that there have been dozens of incidents of “inauthentic” activity on its site and that of Facebook’s Instagram App. The social media giant stated, "we're still in the very early stages of our investigation and don't have all the facts -- including who may be behind this. But we are sharing what we know today given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington.”
The AMAC chief concludes that Internet warfare is “a clear and present danger for the U.S., one with consequences that are just as deadly as traditional armed military conflict. It has long been the preferred method of targeting us for mayhem and murder among radical Islamic terrorists. Remember, ISIS effectively used the World Wide Web to declare war on the civilized world.”