NATO Parliamentary Assembly
HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Reports2011 Spring Session074 CDS 11 E - INFORMATION AND NATIONAL SECURITY

074 CDS 11 E - INFORMATION AND NATIONAL SECURITY

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Draft General Report by Lord JOPLING (United Kingdom), General Rapporteur

Until this document has been approved by the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security, it represents only the views of the Rapporteur

I.  INTRODUCTION 

II.  THE INFORMATION AGE AND THE NOTION OF SECRECY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

     A.  THE “CABLEGATE” 

     B.  REACTION TO THE LEAKS 

     C.  TRANSPARENCY VS. SECRECY 

III.  DIGITAL (H)ACTIVISM 

     A.  THE PHENOMENON OF HACTIVISM 

     B.  THE ROLE OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA 

IV.  CYBER ATTACKS AND CYBER DEFENCE   

     A.  TYPES OF CYBER ATTACKS 

     B.  NATO AND CYBER DEFENCE 

V.  INFORMATION AND CYBER SECURITY: OPTIONS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND NATO 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

 


I.    INTRODUCTION 

1.             The ongoing information revolution poses a series of political, cultural, economic as well as national security challenges. Changing communications, computing and information storage patterns are challenging notions such as privacy, identity, national borders and societal structures. The profound changes inherent in this revolution are also changing the way we look at security, often in unanticipated ways, and demanding innovative responses. It is said that because of this revolution, the time it takes to cross the Atlantic has shrunk to 30 milliseconds, compared with 30 minutes for ICBMs and several months going by boat.[1] Meanwhile, a whole new family of actors are emerging on the international stage, such as virtual “hactivist” groups. These could potentially lead to a new class of international conflicts between these groups and nation states, or even to conflicts between exclusively virtual entities.

2.             One of the most fundamental characteristics of the Information Age is its ability to connect. In this regard, the main tool is the Internet and the fact that its storage capacity is currently doubling every 12 months.[2] Interconnectivity is now central to government offices, critical infrastructures, telecommunications, finance, transportation, and emergency services. Even where communication and data exchanges are not routed through the Internet, they still, in many cases, use the same fibre optic cables.[3]

3.             Despite its inherent advantages, this dependence on information technology has also made state and society much more vulnerable to attacks such as computer intrusions, scrambling software programs, undetected insiders within computer firewalls, or cyber terrorists. The Internet is inherently insecure as it was designed as a benign enterprise of information exchange, a decentralized patchwork of systems that ensures relative anonymity. It is ill-equipped to trace perpetrators or to prevent them from abusing the intrinsic openness of the cyber domain. In this context, the key national security dilemma of the Information Age is how to create an effective and transparent government, which, at the same time, is also able to protect its citizens and vital national interests. Furthermore, in this Information Age, the North Atlantic Alliance faces a dilemma of how to maintain cohesion in the environment where sharing information with Allies increases information security risks, but where withholding it undermines the relevance and capabilities of the Alliance.

4.             It is a critical time for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) to discuss cyber security, as the Alliance is working on a comprehensive cyber strategy to be announced in June 2011. The Rapporteur hopes that some of the questions discussed in this report will be addressed by this forthcoming NATO document.

5.             This report will focus on three facets of the linkage between Information Age and national security. First, it will discuss the changing notion of secrecy in international relations. This issue was brought to prominence by the so-called “Cablegate” scandal. While the publication of classified diplomatic correspondence was not a result of a cyber attack, it is nevertheless directly linked to the information revolution: remarkable advances in data storage technology allowed one person to easily download colossal volumes of data that has taken the print media months, and possibly years, to digest and to publish.

6.             Second, the explosion of Internet usage is creating the phenomenon we refer to as “digital (h)activism”. Social media and other Internet-based communities are creating new, ad hoc and cross-border allegiances that can manifest themselves in a variety of positive (reinforcing civil societies in authoritarian countries) and negative (empowering hacker groups that attack those who do not share their political worldview) ways.

7.             Third, the report will discuss the challenge of direct cyber threats against states and, in particular, NATO’s role in cyber defence as one of the principal topics for the Euro-Atlantic community, particularly in the wake of the Lisbon Summit.

8.             The report will not address the specific issue of cyber crime. While cyber theft and child pornography are issues of grave concern for the international community,[4] they do not have direct national security implications and are addressed by a number of other international organizations, including the UN, EU, OSCE, OECD and G8. The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime – which requires its parties to criminalise a number of activities in cyber space relating to infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud and child pornography – is a particularly noteworthy initiative that has yet to be ratified by several NATO member states.[5]

9.             This report also represents the continuing effort by the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security to discuss the issue of critical infrastructure protection within the Alliance. Cyber technologies are not only key enablers for systems such as energy generation or transport, but can themselves be considered as critical national infrastructure.

10.         The report also builds upon the contribution by other NATO PA Committees, particularly the 2009 Sub-Committee on Future Security and Defence Capabilities report “NATO and Cyber Defence” [173 DSCFC 09 E bis] by Sverre Myrli (Norway) and the 2007 Science and Technology Committee report “Transforming the Future of Warfare: Network-Enabled Capabilities and Unmanned Systems” [175 STC 07 E bis] by Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin (Canada).

II.  THE INFORMATION AGE AND THE NOTION OF SECRECY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

11.         This chapter will discuss the challenges of protecting classified information in the age of Internet. It will also outline the political and security implications of the “Cablegate” scandal that highlighted the inter-agency and international co-operation versus sensitive information security dilemma.

     A.  THE “CABLEGATE” 

12.         According to the September 11th attacks investigation, the US government failed to ensure adequate information sharing, which could have prevented the attacks (FBI failed to share details connected to an al-Qaeda operative, who later proved to be key in uncovering the plot). As a result, representatives of the political elite, the military, and the financial world all pressed for wider sharing of classified information in order to increase operational efficiency in protection of the country. Therefore, the US government adopted a policy of information-sharing, which it applied to numerous US governmental institutions and agencies including the Department of Defense (DoD) and the State Department (DoS).

13.         This policy resulted in an exponential number of people obtaining access to classified information. Approximately 854,000 people now possess top-secret security clearances.[6] For almost 10 years now, embassy cables have been distributed through the SIPRNet (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network operated by the DoD), which has made them accessible to DoS employees all around the world, to all members of the US military and contractors with necessary security clearance. Eventually, several millions of people ended up having access to materials such as US diplomatic cables.[7] According to information-security experts familiar with the SIPRNet, the data-sharing system was not programmed to detect unauthorized downloading by anyone who had access to this pool of data. Thus, those in charge of the network design relied on those who had access to this sensitive data to protect it from abuse. These users were never scrutinized by any state agency responsible for the data-sharing system.[8]

14.         The US government’s post-9/11 policy on information-sharing received the most serious blow when the “anti-secrecy” organization WikiLeaks started publishing documents of different levels of confidentiality. Its first major release (April 2010) was a video of a US helicopter shooting into a crowd in Bagdad in 2007 which killed 18 people, including two Reuters journalists. Shortly after, the release of 77,000 documents allegedly revealing the realities of the Afghan war were made public, as well as almost 400,000 secret Pentagon documents on the Iraq war.[9] In November 2010, WikiLeaks published about 250,000 confidential US diplomatic cables, which provided US diplomats’ candid assessments of terrorist threats and the behaviour of world leaders.[10] Currently, the US authorities suspect that the material was leaked by Private Bradley Manning stationed in the Persian Gulf, who had downloaded the information from a computer in Kuwait. He then passed these files on to the “whistleblower” organization, which made them public.

     B.  REACTION TO THE LEAKS 

15.         WikiLeaks has spurred public debate with each of its releases. Nevertheless, the November 2010 release of US diplomatic cables got the most aggressive reactions from politicians world-wide. In anticipation of the leaks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her diplomats warned foreign officials about the upcoming leak days before the November 2010 release happened. Following the release, the White House[11] as well as the DoS were quick to denounce the leak and, as Secretary of State Clinton put it, characterised the cable disclosure as an “attack on both the United States and the entire international community”.[12] At a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton the day after the release, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs (the largest number of cables came from the US Embassy in Turkey ) thanked Secretary Clinton for briefing him in advance about the leaks. The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hinted that a part of the US government might have been responsible for releasing this sensitive material to satisfy its political objectives. The Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed concern about the possibly destabilizing effect of the leaks on the already fragile political situation in Iraq. Both Afghan and Chinese political elites emphasized that the leaks will not damage their countries’ relations with the United States.[13]

16.         NATO condemned the leak and described it as “irresponsible and dangerous”.[14] In fact, the word “dangerous” dominated leaders’ press releases following the leaks in November 2010. They feared that publicizing identities of those co-operating with the US and NATO in unstable regions might compromise their cover and jeopardize their lives. Also, ongoing military operations and co‑operation between countries might be put at risk.[15] It is yet to be seen what the actual effect of the November 2010 cables leaks will be. It is hoped, however, that the released cables will not pose any more danger than the Afghan logs, which, according to Defense Secretary Gates, “had not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods”.[16]

17.         On the day of the release, the White House ordered government agencies to review security procedures and ensure that only the necessary users had access to their documents.[17] Soon after, the President’s Office also appointed an Interagency Policy Committee for WikiLeaks, which was to assess the damage caused by the leaks, co-ordinate agencies’ reactions, and improve the security of classified documents.[18] The US DoD conducted an internal 60-day review of security procedures. It also disabled the usage of different storage media and the capability to write or burn removable media on DoD classified computers.[19] The Defense Information Systems Agency has also launched a new Host-Based Security System, which is meant to monitor software and policy rules in order to spot suspicious behaviour and alert responsible authorities. For example, the software should set off an alarm if large quantities of data are being downloaded. Today, approximately 60% of SIPRNet is protected by the software. In order for it to be bullet-proof, however, it will probably require additional compartmentalization of information.[20] A similar tracking mechanism is being adopted by US intelligence agencies (referred to as “enhanced automated, on-line audit capability”).[21]

18.         The DoS has limited the number of people with access to the Net Centric Diplomacy database, which contains diplomatic reports[22], suspended the access to SIPRNet and to two classified sites ClassNet and SharePoint, as well as prohibited the use of any removable data storage devices.[23] Following the leaks, the US Air Force has blocked its employees’ access to at least 20 websites containing the leaked documents such as “The New York Times” and “The Guardian”. The Pentagon prohibited its employees to access the WikiLeaks website on government computers “because the information there is still considered classified”.[24] Eventually, the administration banned hundreds of thousands of federal employees of the Department of Education, Commerce Department, and other government agencies from accessing the site. The Library of Congress, one of the world’s biggest libraries, also issued a statement saying that it would block WikiLeaks.[25]

19.         As far as the WikiLeaks website was concerned, following the leak it suffered repeated distributed denial of service attacks, which prompted it to move its server. Also companies such as Visa, Mastercard or Paypal suspended all their services to the organization, which heavily relies on online donations from its supporters worldwide.[26]

     C.  TRANSPARENCY VS. SECRECY 

20.         The relationship between transparency and secrecy remains a key dilemma in the Information Age and has dominated world-wide media, especially since the outbreak of the WikiLeaks phenomenon. On the one hand, there are pro-transparency advocates who argue that the existence of WikiLeaks certifies that transparency of governments and other organizations are publicly desired. According to them, it is precisely the current Internet age that is conducive to institutional reform, increases public trust in government conduct, and enhances co-operation.[27] And, as transparency proponents argue, we should not react to this development by limiting the spread of technologies and information, but instead by focusing on adapting the conduct of diplomacy, military affairs and intelligence to the new paradigm.[28]

21.         That said, the Rapporteur believes that even if one is in favour of transparency, military and intelligence operations simply cannot be planned and consulted with the public. Transparency cannot exist without control. The government, and especially its security agencies, must have the right to limit access to information in order to govern and to protect. This is based on the premise that states and corporations have the right to privacy as much as individuals do and that secrecy is required for efficient management of the state institutions and organizations. In addition, transparency can be misused on several levels – by providing unprofessional or poor-quality interpretation of information or documents, by conducting superficial or biased analysis, by lack of experience on the topic or by pursuing a political agenda. Thus, not everything carried out under the “transparency label” is necessarily good for the government and its people. Moreover, the very ideal of transparency can also force public figures to become more secretive. The Information Age and its transparent nature may, for example, prevent diplomats from conducting “business as usual” such as making off-the-record statements or engaging in frank discussions with their colleagues.[29] It also increases pressure on decision makers, who have to identify, assess, and react to information, which is immediately and widely accessible to other governments, organizations, as well as the public.[30] This is an unnecessary and possibly dangerous pressure, especially when it comes to the issues of security.

III.  DIGITAL (H)ACTIVISM 

22.         This chapter will discuss the phenomenon of emerging borderless communities and networks, most of which are welcome, but some of which are highly dangerous. Virtual communities operating on-line provide new opportunities for civil society, but they have also increased the potential for asymmetrical attacks.

     A.  THE PHENOMENON OF HACTIVISM 

23.         Apart from causing harm, destruction or conducting espionage, most recent cyber attacks have also been used as a means to reach a rather different goal. “Hactivism” is a relatively recent form of social protest or expression of ideology by using hacking techniques. Hactivists use different malware (or “malicious software”) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to publicize their cause rather than for crime. Such attacks first occurred in 1989 but have gained more prominence over the last decade. In the past hactivists have attacked NASA, the Indonesian and Israeli governments, Republican websites, as well as the University of East Anglia.[31]

24.         One of the most prominent group of on-line hackers - Anonymous - led a campaign against Iran, Australia and the Church of Scientology.[32] Their most prominent campaign, however, took off in 2010 after WikiLeaks had released the US diplomatic cables. In its on-line seven-point manifesto, Anonymous announced its engagement in “the first infowar ever fought” and named PayPal as its enemy.[33] What followed were DDoS attacks against Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, and other companies that had decided to stop providing services for WikiLeaks (they used to administer online donations for the site), against the Swiss bank PostFinance, that had earlier closed Julian Assange’s bank account, and against the Swedish Prosecution Service.[34] The group also attacked Amazon.com, which was previously renting server space to WikiLeaks.[35]

25.         Observers note that Anonymous is becoming more and more sophisticated and could potentially hack into sensitive government, military, and corporate files. According to reports in February 2011, Anonymous demonstrated its ability to do just that. After WikiLeaks announced its plan of releasing information about a major bank, the US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America reportedly hired the data intelligence company HBGary Federal to protect their servers and attack any adversaries of these institutions. In response, Anonymous hacked servers of HBGary Federal’s sister company and hijacked the CEO’s Twitter account. Today, the ad hoc international group of hackers and activists is said to have thousands of operatives and has no set rules or membership.[36] It remains to be seen how much time Anonymous has for pursuing such paths. The longer these attacks persist the more likely countermeasures will be developed, implemented, the groups will be infiltrated and perpetrators prosecuted.[37]

     B.  THE ROLE OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA 

26.         The discourse on the Information Age and new social media gained a new momentum in the beginning of 2011, as numerous countries in North Africa and the Middle East began experiencing popular anti-government uprisings. It was the Internet, in combination with other new and old media such as cell phones and television, that has enabled global resistance to authoritarian rule in the region. The sight of protesters holding up signs “Thank you, Facebook!” has become common in Egypt and Tunisia.[38] Journalists, experts and politicians are increasingly using terms such as “Facebook Revolution”, “Twitter Diplomacy”, or “Cyber-Activism”.[39] Today, Facebook is a community that unites more people than in any country in the world, save for China and India, and if the growth trends keep going as they are, the social network site will soon have more users than India has inhabitants. [40]

27.         Social media, and most prominently Facebook, have helped activists in many of these countries to organize anti-government protests, evade surveillance, discuss issues that have been taboo for decades such as torture, police violence or media censorship, and provided a platform for trading practical tips on how to stand up to rubber bullets and organize barricades.[41] Recognizing that new social media have had an important share on the success of public resistance, two days after demonstrations started in Egypt, Facebook, telephones, and Internet all over the country were switched off. A few days later, when the Internet connection was restored and Facebook users regained access to their accounts, they found that the regime attempted to use this tool for disseminating pro-Mubarak propaganda. Most recently, Facebook pages, groups and blogs attempting to mobilize protesters have appeared in Algeria, Bahrain, Morocco and Syria. As a show of support for the protestors, the online group Anonymous attacked websites of the Tunisian and Egyptian government, Mubarak’s National Democratic Party and the Tunisian stock exchange, making them unavailable for certain periods of time.[42]

28.         Proponents of social media argue, that “merely knowing about social dynamics changes social dynamics”. The authority of one’s peers has been proven to have substantial influence on the decisions made and thanks to these new social media peer influence has evolved into multiple, nation-wide protests. However, others argue that the influence of new social media in respect to the 2011 revolutions has been overrated. Critics say that social media can only provide fast co‑ordination of masses but do not deliver the narrative or resolve that are essential for starting and sustaining any popular movement.[43] As an example, in Egypt the protests started growing significantly after the government had shut down the Internet. The social media also do not prevent popular protests from being contained by governments and security services. In other words, they do not determine the outcome.

29.         In the wake of popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, social media representatives have provided very different reactions to the events. Facebook’s representatives declined to discuss Facebook’s role in the uprisings and provided only a short statement: “We’ve witnessed brave people of all ages coming together to effect a profound change in their country. Certainly, technology was a vital tool in their efforts but we believe their bravery and determination mattered most.” Twitter and YouTube (owned by Google), embraced their roles in the protests more openly. As opposed to Facebook, they took a proactive approach after the Internet was shut down in Egypt by assisting protesters in setting up a new service, "speak2tweet", that would allow people to communicate and organize.[44] WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, was even more eager to attribute the success of these recent resistance movements to his site. According to him, it was the US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks that revealed the extent of corruption among the Tunisian elite and consequently empowered the army to turn against its leaders.[45]

IV.  CYBER ATTACKS AND CYBER DEFENCE   

30.         As mentioned above, the Information Age has brought about an environment that has made the state and society more vulnerable to digital attacks. They are vulnerable because we no longer keep our files and data in a shelf, but in a virtual world accessible from any one of the world’s corners. As in the case of WikiLeaks, these files can be physically removed from a computer, handed over to adversaries, or simply made public. Apart from that, however, one of the greatest strengths as well as weaknesses of the Information Age is that files can also be accessed and on-line services disrupted from afar by various “cyber attacks”. The term “cyber attack” represents a myriad of activities ranging from stealing passwords, to accessing accounts, disrupting critical infrastructure of a country or spying on an enemy.[46] As cyber experts testified to the members of two NATO PA Sub-Committees during the recent visit to The Hague on 18-20 April 2011, there is still no agreement within the international community as to which of these cyber activities constitute a crime. NATO C3 Agency’s Principal Scientist Brian Christiansen suggested that the existing legislative “black holes” should be addressed in a multinational manner due to the transnational nature of the threat.

31.         Due to its decentralized nature, the Internet per se is in fact extremely robust and resilient as it was designed to withstand nuclear war. However, separate parts of this network of networks are vulnerable to cyber threats. The most disquieting feature of the cyber domain is that the attacker has the advantage over the defender. Perpetrators need only one weak point to get inside the network, while defenders have to secure all vulnerabilities. These attacks also take place at the speed of light which leaves little or no time react to attacks. Furthermore, the inherent nature of the Internet allows an attacker to forge the sender’s address or to use botnets (zombie computers often located in different countries), thereby disguising the true identity of an attacker and leading to misattribution of the source of an attack.[47]

32.         The problem of attribution is widely recognized as the biggest obstacle for effective cyber defence. Professional hackers can easily cover their tracks and thus avoid penalties. Deterrence, a critical element of a traditional defence paradigm, does not work in cyber space. In addition, most of cyber attacks are performed by civilian hacker groups so it is almost impossible to prove government involvement. For instance, experts suggest that the thriving Chinese hacker community is not directly supervised by respective government authorities but merely encouraged financially or through ‘patriotic’ education mechanisms such as the People's Liberation Army's militia and reserve system. It makes it difficult to blame Beijing for the attacks such as the one in 2007, when some 25-27 terabytes of information (equivalent to roughly 5,000 DVDs) were stolen from the Pentagon.[48]

33.         As sources of cyber attacks are usually impossible to trace, it cannot be said with certainty who has, so far, dominated “the cyber world”. Nevertheless, when it comes to the involvement of states in cyber attacks, Russia and China are said to be the usual suspects.[49] From what we know today, terrorist groups such as al Qaeda do not yet have the capability to carry out such attacks. In the future, however, organized crime and hacker groups could sell their services to terrorist groups.[50]

     A.  TYPES OF CYBER ATTACKS 

34.         Generally speaking, there are two types of cyber attacks: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and malware attacks.

DDoS attacks

35.         DDoS attacks aim to overwhelm a target by sending large quantities of network traffic to one machine. Attackers take over a number of other computers (botnets) and use them without the knowledge of their owners – for instance, the Estonia attack, roughly one million computers were hijacked in 75 countries.[51] The goal of DDoS is to prevent legitimate users from accessing information and services, such as the actual computer, email, websites, online accounts (banking, etc.). DDoS attacks are extremely difficult to deal with because they do not attempt to exploit vulnerabilities of a system. Vulnerabilities may be patched, but essentially one cannot do much to prevent DDoS attacks.[52]

36.         One of the first major attacks aimed to cripple a country’s critical infrastructure hit Estonia in May 2007. The e-government country experienced co-ordinated DDoS attacks on websites of the Estonian President and Parliament, almost all of its government ministries, political parties, major news organizations, two banks and several communication companies. The attacks came soon after Estonian authorities had relocated a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn – a step which spurred protests by ethnic Russians living in Estonia. The series of cyber attacks, which occurred weeks after the event, supposedly originated in Russia and were hosted by Russian state computer servers. Russia denied these allegations, but in March 2009, an activist with the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi claimed responsibility for organizing the cyber attacks on Estonia. It should be noted that Estonia is extremely dependent on the Internet. At the last parliamentary elections, ¼ of the voters cast their votes via Internet.

37.         Another significant DDoS attack was launched against Georgia in the summer of 2008. This is of note due to the fact that it was coupled with the use of conventional military force, something that a number of experts predict will occur more often in the future. Georgia blamed Russia for the attack only for Russia to deny any involvement.[53] A year later, the combination of cyber and conventional force was supposedly also employed in the case of the bombing of the Syrian nuclear reactor, which was allegedly orchestrated by Israel.[54]

Malware attacks

38., 60;        Malware – or “malicious software” ̵, 1; attacks refer to techniques capable of infiltrating one’s computer without the user’s knowledge and taking control of it, collecting information, or deleting its files (see examples of malware in the Annex). Attack malware can reportedly be bought online for several hundred dollars or even downloaded for free.[55]

39.         Malware-based cyber attacks are increasingly being used for espionage. In 2008, the Unites States experienced a major attack on the classified networks of US Central Command in charge of oversee military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia. Based on available information, the attack was carried out by a foreign intelligence service, which used portable data storage devices to spread malware. Espionage cyber attacks, however, can also be carried out against non-state actors such as private companies and think tanks. “Operation Aurora ” carried out in late 2009/early 2010 is a case in point. During the course of several months, Chinese hackers managed to penetrate the networks of at least 34 financial, technological, and defence companies via exploiting flaws in e-mail attachments.[56] One of the attack’s targets, the giant search engine Google, admitted that hackers had penetrated Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights advocates in the United States, Europe and China. A number of human rights organizations and Washington-based think tanks focusing on US-China relations were also hit by the attacks. According to experts, the attack reached a new level of sophistication as hackers exploited multiple flaws of different software programs – multiple types of malware codes were allegedly used against multiple targets and the whole process was very precisely co-ordinated. This series of attacks was aimed at gaining information about the latest defence weapons systems, source codes powering software applications of prominent technological companies, as well as gaining background about Chinese dissidents.[57]

Stuxnet

40.         The Stuxnet is technically a malware, but its characteristics originality and potential for disruption are so novel that it merits special attention. The Stuxnet worm has been described as “the most sophisticated cyber weapon ever deployed”[58] and its widely-acknowledged role in damaging Iran ’s Bushehr nuclear reactor and Natanz uranium enrichment plant has put Stuxnet firmly in the spotlight recently.[59] Essentially, the worm is a direct-targeting cyber attack: it “sniffs” around its target’s operating system and only attacks if this system matches its targeting criteria, thereby making detection harder for other defences. Once it has acquired its target, Stuxnet deploys two extremely complicated programming payloads to “bomb” them. In the Iranian example, the first of these cyber bombs attacked the centrifuges in the nuclear plant, slowly "un‑synching" them so that they collided with each other, causing serious damage. The second cyber bomb compromised the digital warning, display and shut-down systems controlling the centrifuges, thereby blinding these systems to the reality of what was happening.

41.         This characteristic makes Stuxnet unique in that it specifically attacks and compromises the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems of critical infrastructures. Thus, the real danger of Stuxnet is that, although the Iranian example was a specifically targeted attack, the same method could be used to attack virtually any information technology system used in any critical infrastructures around the world. Stuxnet has therefore been described as a “cyber weapon of mass destruction”.[60] Of particular note is that the vast majority of complicated information technology systems that are potentially vulnerable to Stuxnet are located in NATO and NATO partner countries.

     B.  NATO AND CYBER DEFENCE 

NATO’s cyber agenda

42.         The cyber domain is often described as the “fifth battlespace”; representing both opportunity and risk for the military. In the context of the revolution in information and communication technologies, the military institutions of major powers have been working relentlessly to interconnect commanders, soldiers, sensors and platforms in order to improve agility and achieve better situational awareness. Today, more than 1/5 of US defence and security acquisitions are in the cyber sector.[61] “Network-centric capabilities” has become a buzzword in militaries, while new technologies enable commanders to make better-informed decisions and to reduce human losses by, for example, operating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Afghanistan from a base in Nevada.

43.         On the other hand, our armed forces are now faced with risks they have not experienced before, such as the incident reported by The Wall Street Journal in December 2009, when Iraqi insurgents managed to intercept feeds coming from American UAVs using inexpensive software that is available on the Internet.[62] The Pentagon computer systems are probed up to six million times per day, according to US Cyber Command.

44.         NATO’s increasing involvement in cyber security is therefore inevitable. As NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen put it: “there simply can be no true security without cyber security”. The Alliance has included this issue on its agenda since 2002 when it approved a Cyber Defence Programme – “a comprehensive plan to improve the Alliance ’s capability to defend against cyber attacks by improving NATO’s capabilities”. However, it was not until the 2007 attacks against Estonia that NATO embarked upon developing a comprehensive cyber defence policy that would include not only the protection of the Alliance’s own networks but would also augment the cyber security of individual member states. The Group of Experts’ Report (the "Albright report") recommended that NATO must accelerate its efforts to respond to the dangers of cyber attacks. It recommended focusing on protecting NATO’s communications and command systems, helping Allies to improve their ability to prevent and recover from attacks, and developing an array of cyber defence capabilities aimed at effective detection and deterrence. At the Lisbon Summit, NATO member states committed the organization to developing a new Cyber strategy by June 2011. This strategy will most likely require regular revisions and updating as the developments in cyber domain are remarkably rapid.

45.         At present, individual members continue to bear principal responsibility for the security of their networks, while relevant NATO structures, apart from protecting their own networks and providing support for NATO operations, are expected to assist member states by sharing best practices and dispatching Rapid Reinforcement Teams in case of emergency. Key NATO institutions in the area of cyber security include:

  • NATO Cyber Defence Management Authority (CDMA), which is responsible for coordinating cyber defence systems within NATO and providing advice to member states on all the main aspects of cyber defence.  NATO CDMA operates under the auspices of the new Emerging Security Challenges Division in NATO HQ.;
  • The Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Tallinn, Estonia, which was established in 2008, is responsible for research and training on cyber warfare;.
  • The NATO Consultation, Control and Command (NC3) Board and NATO’s Consultation, Control and Command Agency (NC3A) control the technical aspects and operational requirements of NATO’s cyber defence capabilities;.
  • The NATO Communication and Information Services Agency (NCSA), through its NCIRC (NATO Computer Incident Response Capability) Technical Centre, provides technical and operational cyber security services for NATO and its operations and is responsible for responding to any cyber aggression against the Alliance networks.

46.         NATO conducts annual exercises aimed at enhancing an understanding of NATO’s cyber defence capabilities and identifying areas for improvement. This year’s exercise, Cyber Endeavor will take place on 5-22 September in Grafenwöhr, Germany.

47.         A lot remains to be done, however. NATO’s principal cyber unit – NCIRC – is only partially operational and does not yet provide 24/7 security for all NATO networks. Full operational capability is expected to be achieved in 2012. NCIRC is also only engaged in passive defence, monitoring network activities and dealing with incidents. It does not have a mandate, however, to go after an attacker.

48.         More importantly, NATO needs to devise its policy regarding the key question of how to react to cyber attacks against one of its member states. Can one invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty after a cyber attack? And what response mechanisms should the Alliance employ against the attacker? Should the retaliation be limited to cyber means only, or should conventional military strikes also be considered? Furthermore, the Alliance must decide to what extent it can engage in co‑operation on sensitive cyber issues with partner countries, such as Russia.

National policies of member states

49.         As noted above, member nations bear the principal share of responsibility for their cyber security. Before the 2007 attacks against Estonia, most European nations were developing national strategies to promote information society focusing on economic and cultural benefits offered by new communication and computing technologies, largely neglecting possible risks. After 2007, the need for a more balanced approach has been increasingly acknowledged.[63]

50.         The 2010 UK House of Lords report on cyber security noted wide differences between various European countries in terms of preparedness to meet cyber threats. Since in cyber domain the system is as strong as the weakest link, the report stated that the European countries “have an interest in bringing the defences of the lowest up to those of the highest”.[64] The exact level of preparedness is difficult to measure, however, due to the lack of full understanding of the complexity of cyber domain.

51.         The highest level of preparedness in the Alliance is in the United States and the United Kingdom. The US feels more threatened by cyber attacks than any other nation due to its highly pervasive use of information and communication technologies as well as to its status as a superpower. President Obama identified cyber security as a strategic priority. From 2010 to 2015, the US government is expected to spend over US$50 billion on its cyber defences.[65] The Departments of Defense and Homeland Security share the responsibility for the security of American government networks and implement this mandate through several agencies such as National Security Agency and US Cyber Command (inaugurated in 2010 and specifically tasked to protect US military networks). In terms of legislation, three separate Acts streamlined executive responses to cyber warfare on critical national energy infrastructures, while another Act co‑ordinated wider cyber security efforts, including those against financial institutions and industry.[66]

52.         The UK ’s lead cyber agency is the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Cyber security occupies central place in the National Security Strategy and the Strategic Security and Defence Review published in October 2010. Experts note that “review contains all the early signs of a well-balanced and (now) better-funded approach to UK cyber security.”[67] UK Computer Misuse Act is also hailed as “a robust and flexible piece of legislation in terms of dealing with cybercrime”.[68]

53.         That said, even in the US and UK there are still important questions that need to be addressed. In particular, experts note the insufficient degree of co‑operation between the government agencies and private sector which owns most of information capabilities and infrastructure – more than 90% of American military and intelligence communications travel through privately-owned telecommunications networks.[69] However, private entities are reluctant to allow greater government involvement and monitoring. The UK House of Lords report noted that representatives of the commercial United Kingdom Internet industry showed little interest in giving evidence for this report. Many experts stress that private industry makes its decisions on cyber security measures based on financial rather national security calculations.

54.         While the US and the UK tend to lead on these matters, other NATO members have also updated their existing legal frameworks and made cyber security increasingly prominent in their security strategies. In particular, significant progress has been achieved in establishing Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). A CERT is an organization that studies computer and network security in order to provide incident response services to victims of attacks, publish alerts concerning vulnerabilities and threats, and to offer other information to help improve computer and network security. The 2010 House of Lords report identified the lack of CERTs in some European countries as a major concern. However, in 2011 the situation seems much better. According to the register of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), CERTs were established in all European NATO countries. Furthermore, the establishment of more advanced Computer Security and Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) is being promoted. CSIRTs are CERTs that have extended their services from being a mere reaction force to a more complete security service provider, including preventive services like alerting and security management services.[70]

55.         However, there is no basis for complacency. Establishment of new institutions must be followed by more intensive schedule of joint exercises. The legislative basis must also be further reviewed and updated to take into account the new realities of the cyber domain. According to NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General Jamie Shea, legislative frameworks in many NATO countries are lagging behind in terms cyber realities.[71] At the meeting with NATO Parliamentarians in The Hague on 19 April 2011, NATO C3 Agency General Manager Georges D’hollander said that not all NATO member states have adopted legislation that would make it mandatory for the private sector to protect their data and their networks. For instance, it should be mandatory to install safeguards that would prevent computers or networks being hijacked and used as ‘botnets’. NATO C3 Agency’s Principal Scientist Brian Christiansen also suggested that all NATO nations should employ the so-called “red teams” that use hackers’ methods to probe security levels of various national networks (without malign intentions, of course).

56.         The less advanced NATO nations must realize that in the cyber domain there cannot be a free ride. One study notes that nations that do not have adequate legislative and institutional framework to protect their cyber assets are less likely to receive assistance from the international community because “in a rapid reaction situation, existing procedures better support effective interaction (…) because there is a certain amount of ‘homework’ that can only be performed by the victim.”[72]

V.  INFORMATION AND CYBER SECURITY: OPTIONS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND NATO 

57.         The challenges of the Information Age for national and international security are complex and require the combined efforts of international, regional and national authorities and the private sector, as well as sub- and trans-national groupings of active individuals. NATO is not in a position to address all aspects of this challenge, but it does have a significant role to play, not least because it unites nations with the most developed information and communication infrastructure (infrastructure, hardware and software which collectively make up the Internet are still overwhelmingly Western designed and produced; more than 50% of the world's Internet traffic transits the USA).[73]

58.         On the global level, NATO should support initiatives to negotiate at least some international legal ground rules for the cyber domain. This framework must discourage the cyber arms race and define “thresholds” above which attacks constitute an act of war. International law should clearly prohibit the use of cyber attacks against civilian infrastructures. The principles of international law should also recognize indirect responsibility of a state to ensure that its territory is not used by non-state actors to launch attacks against a third country. If a country systematically fails to ensure that or provides sanctuary for perpetrators, it should be considered as breaching international law and should face sanctions.[74]

59.         However, achieving this agreement will not be easy, since some critical players – such as Russia and China – view cyber security from an “information security” perspective. This perspective is based on their desire to limit dissent and access to information deemed threatening to their regimes. These nations have proposed in-built tracking devices on all Internet packets that would allow all actions on the Internet to be traced. Western analysts argue this would be cumbersome, costly and easily negated by criminal groups, intelligence agencies and militaries. Therefore, the real target of such proposals is the average Internet user and their ability to access information and engage in political dialogue anonymously.[75] Such a surveillance approach is prohibited by many NATO member states’ own laws governing surveillance, propaganda and counter-terrorism.

60.         Other approaches to policing the cyber domain focus on developing technical solutions within Internet infrastructure itself to help maintain security. The Internet was originally designed to be interoperable and has therefore paid little attention to security aspects. The 2003 US National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace identified vulnerabilities within three “key Internet protocols”: the Internet Protocol, which guides data from source to destination across the Internet; the Domain Name System, which translates Internet Protocol numbers into recognizable Web addresses; and the Border Gateway Protocol, which provides the connection between networks to create the “network of networks”[76]. None of these protocols have in-built mechanisms to verify the origin or authenticity of information sent to them, leaving them vulnerable to being manipulated by malicious actors. Therefore, funding and developing technical solutions for a new set of secure protocols that will address many of the vulnerabilities in the current Internet infrastructure whilst falling short of surveillance of member states populations could be useful to NATO.

61.         In addition, NATO member states should support wide ratification of binding international treaties, like the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime, because banning cyber criminal activities would also help negate cyber terrorists as well as state-sponsored cyber attacks that often use the same techniques as cyber criminals.

62.         In terms of public-private co-operation, relevant authorities of NATO nations should be more pro-actively engaging private IT companies when it comes to setting stricter rules on the use of cyber space. Dialogue is essential because software companies like Microsoft and Google remain able, by developing various software options, to exercise influence beyond what any nation state could aspire to do using their legislative powers. Incentives must be put in place to encourage private companies, particularly those running critical national infrastructures and designing cyber hardware and software, to upgrade their security systems beyond simple profit vs. loss calculations.

63.         The Alliance should also establish closer co-operation with the EU. Although NATO is developing cyber defence capabilities, it still needs the EU because it issues laws on comprehensive standards for cyberspace and NATO does not. It would be useful, however, if the EU established the position of an EU “Cyber Czar” in order to have a clear contact point for NATO.

64.         With respect to its own contribution, NATO should incorporate its cyber policies (and encourage its member states to do likewise) into a broader framework for adapting the military to the realities of the Information Age. Cyber security is not a value per se, it must be seen within the context of the developing concept of network-enabled capabilities. In other words, we need to find the right balance between the advantages offered to our armed forces by the new information and communication technologies, and the protection against cyber threats stemming from this information revolution.

65.         It also goes without saying that NATO must clarify its response mechanisms in case of a cyber attack against one or more of its members. It is important that while the Alliance ’s cyber strategy is under preparation, it is not prevented from adequately responding to such attacks. Some argue that Article 5 should not be applied with respect to cyber attacks because their effect so far has been limited to creating inconvenience rather than causing the loss of human lives and because it is hard to determine the attacker. However, The Rapporteur believes that the application of Article 5 should not be ruled out, given that new developments in cyber weapons such as Stuxnet might eventually cause damage comparable to that of a conventional military attack.

66.         In more practical terms, NATO should consider its role in protecting physical infrastructure associated with the cyber domain. The physical vulnerability of fibre-optic cables and information hubs represent a serious challenge within the cyber domain. Most long-haul fibre-optic cables reach land at obvious choke points, which make them susceptible to attack or damage. Of note is the choke point for transatlantic cables Widemouth Bay, Cornwall, in the UK, where four major EU‑US cables reach land.[77] This area has reportedly been designated “vital to US security” because of these cables.[78] Meanwhile, the vast majority of the physical cables that connect the United States and Asia run through the Luzon Strait choke point between Taiwan and the Philippines.[79] Cables in the Malacca Strait are also congested, and island NATO members and partners, like Iceland, Japan and Australia, are particularly vulnerable.[80] To date, the best form of protection for these sub-surface cables has been their anonymity. However, sometimes this is not enough, as highlighted by the fact that 75% of Internet capacity between Europe and a large part of Asia was temporarily lost when, in 2008, ships off the Egyptian coast severed two inter-continental fibre-optic cables by dragging their anchors.[81] A Georgian woman denied 90% of Armenians access to the Internet for 5 hours when she inadvertently cut through a cable with her spade.[82] There have also been other large Internet disruptions caused by cable incidents in Malta, Sicily the US and Asia.[83] These highlight the possibility of sabotage by state or non-state actors. In terms of bandwidth capacity, NATO member states are heavily dependent on infrastructure in the UK for their transatlantic communications. Much of these key Internet peering points are based in and around London and have previously been threatened by flooding.[84]Any disruption to these infrastructures could have far-reaching economic and military effects.

67.         The Rapporteur also suggests that NATO considers applying common funding procedures for procurement of some critical cyber defence capabilities for its member states. The Alliance and its nations should also redouble their efforts to invest in human capital, because currently the Western nations are widely believed to be losing their advantage in cyberspace in terms of numbers of cyber experts and qualified personnel.

68.         Other practical measures should include reviewing our policies in terms of critical information that is to be stored online. The “Cablegate” revealed some documents that date back to 1966. Nigel Inkster, a prominent British expert, says that this “suggests an excess of zeal among those tasked to place State Department data on SIPRNet, since these cannot be relevant to today's operational requirements.” It is also necessary to review the operating systems of critical national infrastructure with a view to limiting their unnecessary exposure to online connections. Furthermore, new safeguard mechanisms must be put in place to prevent unauthorized downloading of sensitive data to digital storage devices. Procedures for vetting relevant personnel should also be revisited.

69.         That said, the Rapporteur wishes to emphasize that all necessary security measures should not cross the line where they would violate the fundamental principles and values cherished by the nations of the Euro-Atlantic community. It is also important for our national security interests: since the cyber domain is to a large extent governed by the people, it is important to win the moral support of the majority of the virtual community. In order to prevent the abuse by the governments, stricter security rules should be accompanied by measures ensuring democratic oversight. For instance, the United States announced recently the establishment of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to ensure that privacy and civil liberties are protected.[85]

70.         Last but not least, the Rapporteur would like to underline the role of parliamentarians not only in terms of issuing relevant legislation, but also in communicating with a public that is often insufficiently informed about the scope of opportunities and risks posed by the Information Age.

ANNEX

 

Types of Malware

Logic Bomb

The earliest and simplest form of malware. It is not a virus but a computer code, which needs to be secretly inserted into the computer software. When triggered (positive trigger – setting a time or date of the bomb exploding such as removing an employees name from the salary list; or negative trigger – failing to insert certain data or code by a specific time). The bomb can cause system shutdown, delete files, send secret information to wrong people, etc.

Trojan Horse

 

Creates a “back door” into a computer, which can be obtained via the Internet from anywhere around the world. It can delete, steal or monitor data on someone else’s computer. It can also turn the computer into a “zombie” and use it to hide the real perpetrator’s identity and cause further damage to other systems. [86]

Key-logger

 

Monitors and keeps track of keystrokes on a computer usually without the user being aware of it. The information can be saved to a file and sent to another computer. Acquiring private data such as usernames and passwords are usually the key targets of the program.

Virus

 

Infects files when they are opened or being run and is capable of self‑replication. It often manifests itself as a logic bomb or a Trojan. Viruses are difficult to track and can spread very quickly. In 2000 the ILOVEYOU virus caused damage of approximately US$10 million.

Embedded Malware

Is inserted malicious software that accepts additional covert commands into operational systems of machines ranging from phones to weapons systems. According to General Wesley Clark and Peter Levin, an example of such operation was Israel ’s alleged attack on Syrian nuclear sites in 2007, which was supposedly made easier because of embedded malware that turned off Syrian defence radar.

 


[1]   As pointed out by Craig Mondie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft. See in Cybersecurity: Is Technology Moving Faster than Policy? Security & Defence Agenda report. 31 January 2011. http://www.securitydefenceagenda.org/Portals/14/Documents/Publications/2011/Cybersecurity_Dinner_report_Final2.pdf

[2]   Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk, OECD/IFP Project on “Future Global Shocks”, January 2011.

[3]   Cyber war and cyber power. Issues for NATO doctrine. By Jeffrey Hunker. NATO Defence College Research Paper No. 62, November 2010.

[4]   President Obama has said the cyber criminals have caused around US$1 trillion damage worldwide in one year.

[5]   Except Turkey, all NATO nations (including CoE non-member states Canada and the United States ) have signed the Convention, but Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Greece, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom have not ratified it. CoE member state Russia did not sign the Convention.

[6]  A hidden world, growing beyond control. By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. A Washington Post Investigation. 19 July 2010.  http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/a-hidden-world-growing-beyond-control/print/

[7]    WikiLeaks: the price of sharing data. IISS Strategic Comments. Volume 17, Comment 3. January 2011.

[8]    Cables leak reveals flaws of information-sharing tool. By Joby Warrick. The Washington Post. 31 December 2010.

[9]   WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Chased by Turmoil. By John F.Burns and Ravoi Somaiya. The New York Times. 23 October 2010.

[10]   Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy. By Scott Shane and Andrew W.Lehren. The New York Times. 28 November 2010.

[11]   WikiLeaks: Saudi King Abdullah Encouraged U.S. to Attack Iran; Chinese Politburo Hacked Into Google. New York News & Features.  28 November 2011. http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/11/wikileaks_round-up.html

[12]   Reaction to Leak of U.S. Diplomatic Cables, Day 2. By Rober Mackey. The New York Times. 29 November 2010. http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/updates-on-the-global-reaction-to-leaked-u-s-cables/ 

[13]   Reaction to Leak of U.S. Diplomatic Cables, Day 2. By Rober Mackey. The New York Times. 29 November 2010. http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/updates-on-the-global-reaction-to-leaked-u-s-cables/

[14]   NATO condemns WikiLeaks. Sky News Australia. , December 2010. http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=546109&vId

[15]   Wikileaks must stop "dangerous" leaks: military. Reuters. 26 November 2010,; U.S. warns WikiLeaks not to release 'dangerous' report. Haaretz. 28 November 2010.

[16]   Gates: No sensitive info in WikiLeaks Afghan papers. Reuters. 17 October 2010,

[17]   Pentagon revamps security in wake of Wikileaks. Homeland Security Newswire. 29 December 2010.

[18]   White House memo outlines new anti-leak measures. Reuters. 2 December 2010.

[19]   Pentagon revamps security in wake of Wikileaks. Homeland Security Newswire. 29 December 2010.

[20]   U.S. Clamps Down on Info Sharing. Defense News. 6 December 2010.

[21]   WikiLeaks fallout leads to an info-sharing clampdown. By Sean Railey.  FederalTimes.com. 5December 2010. http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20101205/IT03/12050306/

[22]   U.S. Clamps Down on Info Sharing. Defense News. 6 December 2011.

[23]   WikiLeaks fallout leads to an info-sharing clampdown. By Sean Railey.  FederalTimes.com. 5 December 2010. http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20101205/IT03/12050306/

[24]   U.S. Air Force blocks NYT, Guardian over WikiLeaks. Reuters. 14 December 2010.

[25]   US blocks access to WikiLeaks for federal workers. By Ewen MacAskill. The Guardian. 3 December 2010.

[26]   The arrest of Julian Assange: as it happened. The Guardian. December 2010,

[27]   On his first day in office President Obama instructed US agencies to be more open and transparent. Later on he launched a review of the classification procedures, ordered training for personnel in charge of classifications, and obliged classifiers to provide their identification on each classified document (see in Wikileaks’ War on Secrecy: Truth’s Consequences. By Massimo Calabresi. Time. 2 December 2010.).

[28]   Intelligence in the Information Age; Spy Data For Sale. By Kevin O’Connell. Comentary. RAND Corporation. 8 April 2001. http://www.rand.org/commentary/2001/04/08/ND.html

[29]   Analysis: WikiLeaks will kill transparency. By C.M. Sennott. Globalpost.com. 29 November 2010.   http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/worldview/101129/opinion-wikileaks-will-kill-transparency

[30]   Intelligence in the Information Age; Spy Data For Sale. By Kevin O’Connell. Comentary. RAND Corporation. 8 April 2001. http://www.rand.org/commentary/2001/04/08/ND.html

[31]  Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk, OECD/IFP Project on “Future Global Shocks”. By Peter Sommer and Ian Brown. January 2011.

[32]   Why Are Hactivists “Anonymous” Defending Wikileaks? Interview by Debbie Randle. BBC Newsbeat. 9 December 2010.

[33]  Operation Avenge Assange, http://i.imgur.com/C35Ty.png

[34]  Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk, OECD/IFP Project on “Future Global Shocks”. By Peter Sommer and Ian Brown. January 2011,; Hackers Rise for WikiLeaks. By Cassell Bryan-Low and Sven Grundberg. Wall Street Journal. 8 December 2010. 

[35]  Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear. By Ravi Somaiya. The New York Times. 5 December 2010.

[36]    Anonymous vows to take leaking to the next level. By Ashley Fantz. CNN. 24 February 2011.

[37]  Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk, OECD/IFP Project on “Future Global Shocks”. ”. By Peter Sommer and Ian Brown. January 2011.

[38]  Drop the Case Against Assange. By Tim Wu. Foreign Policy. 4 February 2011.

[39]  These Revolutions Are Not All Twitter. By Andrew K.Woods. The New York Times.1 February 2011.

[40]  Yet another Facebook revolution: why are we so surprised? By John Naughton. The Guardian. 23 January 2011.

[41]  A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History. By David D. Kirkpatrick and David E.Sanger. The New York Times. 13 February 2011.

[42]  Hackers Shut Down Government Sites. By Ravi Somaiya. The New York Times. 2 February 2011.

[43]  These Revolutions Are Not All Twitter. By Andrew K.Woods. The New York Times. 1  February 2011.

[44]  Facebook Officials Keep Quiet on Its Role in Revolts. By Jennifer Preston. The New York Times. 14 ebruary 2011.

[45]    Wikileaks' Julian Assange takes credit for Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. Daily Mail online, 14 February 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1356754/Wikileaks-Julian-Assange-takes-credit-Tunisian-Egyptian-revolutions.html

[46]  The Perpetrators of Cyber Attacks. By Mary Watkins. Financial Times. 17 February 2011.

[47]    Cyber war and cyber power. Issues for NATO doctrine. By Jeffrey Hunker. NATO Defence College research paper No. 62. November 2010.

[48]   Mobilising Cyber Power. By Alexander Klimburg, Survival, 28 January 2011.

[49]  Tackling the Cyber Threat. By Margaret Gilmore. RUSI commentary. http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary/ref:C4CBD84EDE6ACB

[50]  Virtual war a real threat. By Ken Dilanian. Los Angeles Times. 28 March 2011,

[51]   A Treaty for Cyberspace. By Rex Hughes. International Affairs. March 2010.

[52]  Cyber war and cyber power. Issues for NATO doctrine. By Jeffrey Hunker. NATO Defence College research paper No. 62. November 2010.

[53]  Before the Gunfire, Cyberattacks. By John Markoff. The New York Times. 12 August 2008.

[54]  Farwell, James P. and Rohozinski, Stuxnet and the Future Cyber War, IISS, Survival, Feb-March 2011.

[55]  Cyber-war a growing threat warn experts. By Clark Boyd. BBC. 17 June 2010.

[56]  A recipient opens an e-mail, which is seemingly from someone he/she knows, opens an attachment containing a “sleeper” program that embeds in the recipients computer. The attacker can then control the program remotely - access e-mail, send confidential documents or turn on a Web camera or microphone and record.

[57]  Google China cyberattack part of vast espionage campaign, experts say. By Ariana Eunjung and Ellen Nakashima. The Washington Post. 14 January 2010.

[58]  Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay. By William J.Broad, John Markoff and David E.Sanger. The New York Times. 15 January 2011.

[59]  Stuxnet and the Future Cyber War. By Farwell, James P. and Rohozinski. IISS. Survival. Feb-March 2011; and  Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay. By William J.Broad, John Markoff and David E.Sanger. The New York Times. 15 January 2011.

[60]  Cracking Stuxnet: A 21st century cyber weapon. By Ralph Langner. Ted.com brief. 29 March 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS01Hmjv1pQ

[61]  Cyber-security: the corporate gold rush. Jane’s Defence Weekly. 29 September 2010.

[62]  The Cyber-war. By Eleanor Keymer. Jane’s Defence Weekly. 29 September 2010.

[63]  Global Cybersecurity-Thinking About the Niche for NATO. By Eneken Tikk,. SAIS Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, Summer-Fall 2010

[64]   Protecting Europe Against Large-Scale Cyber-Attacks. European Union Committee – Fifth report. UK House of Lords. March 2010.

[65]  On Cyber Warfare. By Paul Cornish, David Livingstone, Dave Clemente and Clair York. A Chatham House Report. November 2010.

[66]    Cyber Security Enhancement Act Redux. By Eric Chabrow. Government Information Security Articles.10 Fenbruary 2011. http://www.govinfosecurity.com/articles.php?art_id=3340

[67]  Evaluating the 2010 Strategy Review. By Dave Clemente. Chatham House.  http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/17631_1010sdsr_clemente.pdf

[68]  IISS Global Perspectives – Power in Cyberspace. Q&A with Nigel Inkster, Director, Transnational Threats and Political Risk, IISS. 18 January 2011.

[69]  The New Vulnerability. By Jack Goldsmith. The New Republic. 7 June 2010.

[70]   Taken from “Inventory of CERT activities in Europe ”. ENISA publication. March 2011.

[71]  Cybersecurity: Is Technology Moving Faster than Policy? Security & Defence Agenda report. 31 January 2011.

  http://www.securitydefenceagenda.org/Portals/14/Documents/Publications/2011/Cybersecurity_Dinner_report_Final2.pdf

[72]  Global Cybersecurity-Thinking About the Niche for NATO. By Eneken Tikk. SAIS Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, Summer-Fall 2010.

[73]  Power in Cyberspace. Speech by Nigel Inkster, Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk, IISS. 18 January 2011. http://www.iiss.org/middle-east/global-perspectives-series/power-in-cyberspace/read-the-speech/

[74]  Cyber war and cyber power. Issues for NATO doctrine. By Jeffrey Hunker. NATO Defence College research paper No. 62. November 2010.

[75]  Internet Governance in an Age of Cyber Insecurity. By Robert Knake. Council on Foreign Relations Special Report no.56, September 2010.

[76]  The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. The White House. February 2003.

[77]  ‘Internet’s undersea world’ http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/m.dodge/cybergeography/atlas/alcatel_large.gif

[78]   Devon and Cornwall locations “vital to US security”. BBC, ‘6 December 2010.

[79]   Points of weakness in Internet cable network. By Adam Wolfe. Asiaone Digital. 17 January 2007. http://digital.asiaone.com/Digital/Features/Story/A1Story20070523-7003.html

[80]   Ibid.

[81]   Protecting Europe Against Large-Scale Cyber-Attacks. European Union Committee – Fifth report. UK House of Lords. March 2010.

[82]   Georgian pensioner facing jail for cutting off Armenias Internet by snipping cable. EU Times, 8 April 2011.

[83]    Severed Cables in Mediterranean Disrupt Communication. Bloomberg. 19 December 2008; and, Physical protection for the Internet.AlphaGalileo Institute. 14 December 2010.

[84]   Floods threaten UK Internet infrastructure. By Robert Jaques. V3.co.uk. 31 July 2007.  http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/1942516/floods-threaten-uk-Internet-infrastructure

[85]  Cybersecurity Two Years Later. A Report of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency. January 2011.

[86]  How does a logic bomb work? By Julia Layton. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/logic-bomb.htm; also in Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk, OECD/IFP Project on “Future Global Shocks”. January 2011.

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