Cyber warfare poses global threat

Cyber warfare poses global threat

Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr

Pavel Warzecha, Contributing Writer

In today’s day and age, American intelligence agencies frequently defend us against foreign cyber attacks. In 2014, when computers are more popular and advanced than ever, the defense that these intelligence agencies provide is crucial in maintaining government security.

This could prove to be true with other nations’ cyber warfare capabilities. On Nov. 21, Newsweek reported that several nations have the necessary technology to launch a cyber attack that would shut down America’s power grid, leaving millions without electricity.

Many people misunderstand cyber warfare for violent acts done through the use of computers.  In reality, cyber warfare does not include any violence, but instead targets websites, networks and data. Means of cyber warfare include disabling official websites, disrupting numerous services and stealing classified data, along with other violations.

Because of how recently computer technology has expanded, cyber warfare in the US and does not have an extensive past. However, in its short history, cyber warfare has caused some major problems due to its use for sabotage.

On April 27, 2007, the first major cyber attack took place when Estonian government programs experienced a denial of service attack from unknown foreign intruders, and since that time, a series of other cyber attacks have also taken place. The U.S. also experienced cyber warfare, but through different methods. During the 2008 summer elections, databases of both the democratic and republican parties were hacked and data was stolen.

Essentially, this is why American intelligence agencies that defend against cyber attacks were created. Attacks such as the one during the 2008 elections have largely decreased in the U.S. as a result of the defense agencies’ work.

A major contributor to the intelligence agencies protecting the U.S. is the military Internet complex, which is an alliance between the US military and intelligence community, the NSA, and large corporations.

Shane Harris, author of the book, @War, informed NPR about the function of the military Internet complex.

“This alliance is principally in the business of monitoring computer systems and monitoring the world’s networks for threats,” Harris said.

In recent times, even major technology companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook have also helped the complex by providing some key information. The companies have shared some important information about people who threaten America’s safety through online means.

Over the past decade, the number of cyber attacks taking place around the world has increased exponentially creating a greater importance for society to recognize the growing issue. Fortunately, the methods of defending cyber attacks have also improved drastically, preventing large scale cyber wars from breaking out.