Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cindy and Cyberwar

The lead item on memeorandum this morning (aiiieee! Politics!) is Cindy Sheehan’s “resignation letter” from the peace movement. Her good-bye missive, titled "Good Riddance Attention Whore," is posted at DKos. I’ve sampled some of the comment across the blogosphere this morning on Ms. Sheehan’s resignation and it’s mostly sympathetic…even from the Right. Ms. Sheehan was…and remains…a tragic figure. I sympathize with her loss—greatly—as any person would. But I cannot condone some of the more bizarre manifestations of her grief. And I have nothing but contempt for those people who used her.

More…lots more…at memeorandum.

Missing from the MSM, but prominent on certain tech sites…China Crafts Cyberweapons.” From the PC Magazine article:

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) continues to build cyberwarfare units and develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems as part of its information-warfare strategy, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) warned in a report released on Friday.

"The PLA has established information warfare units to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks," the annual DOD report on China's military warned. At the same, Chinese armed forces are developing ways to protect its own systems from an enemy attack, it said, echoing similar warnings made in previous years.

These capabilities are part of China's ongoing military modernization efforts, which have seen the country add dozens of high-tech fighters and ballistic missiles to its arsenal. China isn't alone in building the capability to attack an enemy's computer systems. The U.S. and other countries have developed similar abilities.

There’s no doubt in my mind SN2 is in-touch with these developments, as he’s working in this area in his new assignment at US Strategic Command HQ in Omaha. Pity he can’t talk about what he’s doing. As an ol’ IT kinda guy, I’m really interested in this stuff.

Related: “War Fears Turn Digital After Data Siege in Estonia.”
TALLINN, Estonia, May 24 — When Estonian authorities began removing a bronze statue of a World War II-era Soviet soldier from a park in this bustling Baltic seaport last month, they expected violent street protests by Estonians of Russian descent.

They also knew from experience that “if there are fights on the street, there are going to be fights on the Internet,” said Hillar Aarelaid, the director of Estonia’s Computer Emergency Response Team. After all, for people here the Internet is almost as vital as running water; it is used routinely to vote, file their taxes, and, with their cellphones, to shop or pay for parking.

What followed was what some here describe as the first war in cyberspace, a monthlong campaign that has forced Estonian authorities to defend their pint-size Baltic nation from a data flood that they say was set off by orders from Russia or ethnic Russian sources in retaliation for the removal of the statue.


“This may well turn out to be a watershed in terms of widespread awareness of the vulnerability of modern society,” said Linton Wells II, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration at the Pentagon. “It has gotten the attention of a lot of people.” (my emphasis)
As well it should. Technological societies live and die on the ‘net. And our military has gotten to the point where it absolutely cannot function without the network. Not for nothing the USAF modified its mission statement in 2005 to include the term “cyberspace.” The language in the revised mission statement is clumsy, true. But the intent and importance is NOT.

Update on Cindy (0905 hrs)… Here’s Captain Ed:
I hope she does return to her family and regain what she has lost. She lost her son, and she lost the rest of her family when she tried to turn herself into a weird kind of martyr. Now that she's climbing down off the cross, perhaps she can finally find some comfort in her surviving children and leave behind the lunacy she has exhibited in her fringe-Left campaign against not just George Bush but the country towards which she feels so much bitterness.
Read the whole thing.


  1. I saw the Cindy S headlines on Fox News although I did not read the article. The article started off with, "Activist 'resigns' as face of anti-war movement, says she's penniless, marriage over, relationship with kids strained..." Who would want to read about something so sad? Obviously, the woman has some real problems and most were brought on herself.

  2. ...and most were brought on herself.

    Amen to that.

  3. I've got some more stuff to talk about Re: China over at my place...hopefully will put it up tonight. There was a really interesting paper I just got done reading from Army War College regarding China's nuclear strategy and view of the U.S. as an enemy...couple that with the release of the 2007 Military Power of the PRC Report and the news out of Estonia and there's a lot to be worried about.

    Like you say, DoD lives and dies by the 'Net. That and our satellites. What's two of China's biggest areas of development?

    Yeah. Like I said, a lot to be worried about. You take out our ability to network, our global SATCOM, our ability to know where we're at, and the guidance for a sizeable chunk of our PGMs, and we're gonna have some problems fighting a war.

  4. ...Like I said, a lot to be worried about. You take out our ability to network, our global SATCOM, our ability to know where we're at, and the guidance for a sizeable chunk of our PGMs, and we're gonna have some problems fighting a war.

    All too true, that. I have it on pretty good authority that (a) we're very cognizant of the threat and (b) we can cope. But as Rumsfeld once said, "we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know"...and those are the bits that scare the bejeezus out of me.

    Looking forward to your post, Mike.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.