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Thursday, November 10, 2011

PAICE News: CyberSpace: The New Frontier... Baeric Constantine Reporting...

As with any frontier, there are boom towns, and brawls, and even frontier wars, in an effort to create or maintain a border. One would think that this is the fabric of some western novel, or some western film, but, alas, it is not. It is the story of the Internet, the CyberWest, or, CyberSpace: The New Frontier...
Speaking at DARPA's “Colloquium on Future Directions in Cyber Security,” on November 7, 2011, Regina Dugan stated that DARPA are “...shifting [their] investments to activities that promise more convergence with the threat and that recognize the needs of the Department of Defense...[as]...Malicious cyber attacks are not merely an existential threat to our bits and bytes; they are a real threat to our physical systems, including our military systems. To this end, in the coming years we will focus an increasing portion of our cyber research on the investigation of offensive capabilities to address military-specific needs.”

When that is taken in the light of events, such as Mitsubishi's claim that "Missile and submarine secrets 'may have been stolen' in cyber attack (Sept 2011)"; or where "Hackers steal secrets of £500m deal to clear WW2 landmines from former intelligence chief (Sept 2011)"; earlier this year, GCHQ reported that cyber-attacks are at disturbing levels; or even as far back as May 2007, when the BBC reported "Estonia hit by 'Moscow cyber war'", we need to sit up, and take notice, and there are many more examples that can be quoted.
Just how aware are we, or are we being very ostrichian, and burying our collective heads in the sand with regards to CyberSecurity? Is CyberSpace going to be the next battlefield, or is it the current battlefield? Do we really believe that it is only pixels on the screen, or that it is only Internet, it does not matter? I suggest that these views are archaic, and originate from those desiring to cause harm to others while abdicating their own responsibilities under the illusionary guise of anonymity within CyberSpace.
The laissez faire attitude of the government is changing, as can be seen by the FBI and Estonian police closing down 4 million computers in Operation Ghostclick. However, they are not moving fast enough, as the issue of cyberattack has been in discussion for many years.  In June 1996, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations delivered a report to the U.S. Senate, discussing “Security In Cyberspace.”  In October 2000, a BBC news article was titled “Cybercrime threat 'real and growing'.”  In December 2000, the National Fraud Center, released a report entitled ‘The Growing Global Threat of Economic and Cyber Crime.’  In July 2003, a BBC news article was titled “Identity theft explodes in US.”  In December 2004, a BBC news article was titled “Cyber crime booms in 2004.”
In August of 2007, the House Of Lords Science and Technology Committee report, “Personal Internet Security”, stated that the “…Government have insisted...that the responsibility for personal Internet security ultimately rests with the individual [but this] is no longer realistic, and compounds the perception that the Internet is a lawless “wild west”.”
In opening the London Conference on Cyberspace on 2 November, Foreign Secretary William Hague stated that "...governments [need] to act proportionately in cyberspace and in accordance with national and international law...[and that the]...occasional talking together on this subject needs to become a permanent activity, and just because no one person in most governments is responsible for this area does not mean it can be ignored any longer.  Essentially, he is echoing the calls for greater measures to be taken, as governments are still not taking the threat of cyberattack seriously enough.  Perhaps when Thomas C Greene of The Register wrote the article, "Cyber-crime justifies world government" in May 2001, he was correct, what do you think?
Baeric Constantine

•    House Of Lords Science and Technology Committee, “Personal Internet Security”, 10 August 2007, 5th Report of Session 2006-07, Volume I: Report, The Stationery Office Limited: London, HL Paper 165-I, ACCESSED: 09 March 2008, URL:, p55
•    U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations, (Minority Staff), “Hearings On Security In Cyberspace”, 05 June 1996, Staff Statement, ACCESSED: 09 March 2008, URL:
•    Maclean, M., “Cybercrime threat 'real and growing'”, 19 October 2000, BBC News, ACCESSED: 11 October 2007, URL:
•    The National Fraud Center, Inc., “The Growing Global Threat of Economic and Cyber Crime”, December 2000, LexisNexis, ACCESSED: 11 October 2007, URL:
•    BBC News, “Identity theft explodes in US”, 21 July 2003, ACCESSED: 09 March 2008, URL:
•    BBC News, “Cyber crime booms in 2004”, 29 December 2004, ACCESSED: 09 March 2008, URL:


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