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785RE: [iwar] The Middle East InfoWar Conflict - Update

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  • St. Clair, James
    Dec 8, 2000
      We may be missing the forest from the trees. While website defacement may be
      "kid's stuff" and not meet whatever definition of Info War we use, there are
      several important conceptual points, IMHO:

      1) The forces regard "cyberspace" now as an effective medium to conduct
      2) These websites are still physically hosted on webservers, some of which
      are third party and may be hosting non-affiliated services.
      3) These "games" are getting more sophisticated in concept, and it is
      warfare that truly prompts developing new weapons anyway.
      4) Increasing dependence on ISPs for application services, infrastructure
      management, and e-commerce means the same boxes vulnerable to web
      defacements or DDoS attacks also carries financial transactions - that means
      someone loses money.

      - Jim

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Fred Cohen [mailto:fc@...]
      Sent: Friday, December 08, 2000 9:52 AM
      To: iwar@egroups.com
      Subject: Re: [iwar] The Middle East InfoWar Conflict - Update

      Per the message sent by Ozair:

      > Everyone,

      > Is anyone analyzing the frequency, type of attack, magnitude, motive, and
      > the type of target behind so called information warfare attacks.

      You might want to read the roll-up information on the all.net web site to
      get more clarity on this. (http://all.net/ => Mid-East InfoWar)

      The motives have been declared - at least in the case of the
      Palestinians - through doctrine, through publicaitons that indicate it
      is essentially economic warfare, through claims of asymetric advantage
      in thiis venue, through published targeting informaiton, and through
      several publications indicative of intent. This has been declared by
      the Palestinian authority, so it is their official policy at some level.

      > I am still
      > not willing to call these pranks as information warfare, had it been
      > confirmed that these are well coordinated and are moving towards a
      > objective then they would be rightly called so.

      The question of whether it is information warfare or information
      terrorism seems, to me, to be moot. If you take the strict US-centric
      view that terrorist groups are those groups listed on the State
      Department's list and that any information operation practiced by those
      groups is terrorism, then this is information terrorism (on the
      Palestinian side). On the israeli side, it doe snot seem to be official
      government policy, but on the other hand, they don't seem to be trying
      to stop Israeli citizens from participating in it. On that side, it
      could be called information warfare, but the state link is not so clear.

      > But picking up stragglers
      > and sites apparently of no value seems hardly worth the news on this

      This is not what is hapenning in this case - at least that's not what
      the evidence seems to show.

      > Ozair

      Fred Cohen at Sandia National Laboratories at tel:925-294-2087
      Fred Cohen & Associates: http://all.net - fc@... -
      Fred Cohen - Practitioner in Residence - The University of New Haven
      This communication is confidential to the parties it is intended to
      PGP keys: https://all.net/pgpkeys.html - Have a great day!!!

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