We are asking China to stop poking at our networks; maybe we should take a look at what everyone else is doing along the way. An international framework is probably in order at this point.
Many news systems are broadcasting that America is asking/telling China to stop hacking American Companies. While in testimony Army Gen. Keith Alexander, head of U.S. Cyber Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday the country is not preventing what he called low-level harassment of private and public web sites, property and information by other states.
It is one big honking huge party out there on the Internet, and it is not just nation states, it is individuals, groups, gangs, organized crime, and vigilante groups along the way. While we can argue the fine points, what is happening in cyberspace is no different than a James Bond thriller with all the players in place. The harassment is continual, regardless of who you are or your importance to the Internet. We need to take a different approach than we have been doing.
If nation states, the USA and China for example could sit down and agree to the rules of engagement, much like we do in war, including proxies, the use of systems, regulated response, and making certain methods or weapons illegal then we have an interesting basis to do an international cyberwar treaty. We regulate nuclear weapons; we should take a look at what we are doing in the electronic realm. In an era of total war, what is happening on the Internet is a reflection of what is going to happen in terms of real warfare.
We want to scan, get in, monitor, watch, copy, and stay as long as possible. The problem is that the Military is a very small subset of people in any country. Companies that are on the internet should hire and retain extraordinarily competent information security people, and train them much like we are seeing with how Facebook is training their cyber security people. If we can up our game across the board, we present a much more interesting challenge for hackers of all stripes, and realistically the general rabble will go somewhere else.
For those who really want in, they will get in, they will compromise your networks, and they will eventually get caught doing it. The treaty can consider this as a starting point. Spying is part of international diplomacy since we started being humans in tribes. If we know what hackers are looking for, we stand a much better chance of understanding the rules of cyberwar much as we understand the rules of spying, the rules of warfare, and the rules of society.
I hope we really do sit down and do something like this that would be an interesting news item to cover. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening any time soon.
- China Suggests Setting Rules for Cyberwar Games (technewsworld.com)
- Obama Declares Global Cyberwar (thepeoplesvoice.org)
- What Is an Act of Cyberwar? (nytimes.com)
- Anonymous Thrown Into China-US Cyberwar Scandal (eurasiareview.com)
- The U.S. Is Not Prepared To Fight A Cyberwar (warnewsupdates.blogspot.com)