Monday, August 15, 2016

James Bamford — Commentary: The world's best cyber army doesn’t belong to Russia

The United States is, by far, the world’s most aggressive nation when it comes to cyberspying and cyberwarfare. The National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on foreign cities, politicians, elections and entire countries since it first turned on its receivers in 1952. Just as other countries, including Russia, attempt to do to the United States. What is new is a country leaking the intercepts back to the public of the target nation through a middleperson.
There is a strange irony in this. Russia, if it is actually involved in the hacking of the computers of the Democratic National Committee, could be attempting to influence a U.S. election by leaking to the American public the falsehoods of its leaders. This is a tactic Washington used against the Soviet Union and other countries during the Cold War. In the 1950s, for example, President Harry S Truman created the Campaign of Truth to reveal to the Russian people the “Big Lies” of their government. Washington had often discovered these lies through eavesdropping and other espionage.
Today, the United States has morphed from a Cold War, and in some cases a hot war, into a cyberwar, with computer coding replacing bullets and bombs. Yet the American public manages to be “shocked, shocked” that a foreign country would attempt to conduct cyberespionage on the United States….
Espionage, of which hacking is a tool, is one aspect of cyber warfare. The second is introducing malware to disrupt information and control systems.

The first known use of cyber warfare aggressively against a perceived adversary was Stuxnet worm into Iranian computers apparently to take down their nuclear program without bombing. Experts believe that only a state-sponsored group would have been able to do this and the main suspects are the US (CIA) and Israel (Mossad), perhaps acting jointly.

Commentary: The world's best cyber army doesn’t belong to Russia
James Bamford

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