Three men in uniform gathered in a modest room for meetings of the Supreme Center kiberoborony (Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence) in order to exchange views on a sensitive issue. Close does not even have a computer. In the corridors of this strange building, built in tsarist times, did not hear a single sound. From solid walls blew only cold, lonely soldier politely opens the door. The fact that here, at the gates of Tallinn NATO strategists are pondering over the wars of the future, carefully kept secret. About 30 officers, scientists and lawyers working on the analysis of the growing worldwide threat, as well as on ways to protect against it. These are increasingly sophisticated attacks in cyberspace warriors. Increasingly, hackers are trying to extract an important economic and military information, but worldwide they are persistently trying to penetrate the electrical and communications networks – it is obvious that this is happening with the support of their governments. Are under threat as water and transport systems, oil – and gas pipelines. “We must first create a database in order to know who and what damage can cause hostile software”, recognizes the Christian Chossek (Christian Czosseck) – one of two representatives of the German research organization. However, he prefers not to talk about concrete work, wrote Inosmi
Estonia began rapidly to create a division of NATO in its capital after three years ago, she became the object of massive attacks by hackers. In April and May 2007, the army of robots, which consisted of infected computers, paralyzed by endless requests sent to the appropriate servers, the work of parliament, ministries, banks and the media. This used independently operating software applications “bonnet”, which infect your computer malware and then activate them, while all this is done so that the owner of the computer itself did not notice anything. Captured computers located in different parts of the world, but Estonian experts are still convinced that digital attack was conceived Russia – a sworn enemy of Estonia. The situation is tense after the deterioration of the dispute over the soldiers’ monument, and on Russian web pages could load the appropriate malaria.
After this cyber campaign was destroyed and the holy world of the progress of Estonia, which attempted to present himself as a kind of eastern Silicon Valley. This attack showed how vulnerable can be a country where daily life and economy are based on information technologies. Meetings take place without government papers, 91 percent of Estonians submit their tax returns via the Internet, and 98 percent of banking operations in this country are carried out in the network. Protection against cyber attacks is now part of the national defense strategy. “You have to understand that wars in future will lead in the fifth dimension – not only in land, air, sea and in space, but also in Cyberspace”, – said the expert on information technology of the Estonian Ministry of Defense Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar ( Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar).
Former head of National Intelligence Michael McConnell (Mickael McConnel) even compared the current situation with the start of the Cold War. “We need a strategy of defense, as it did when the Soviet Union and he had at his disposal of nuclear weapons posed a threat to the existence of the United States and its allies. Only now we must defend against cyber attacks. ” Number of virtual network attacks on highly sensitive government computers in the White House, in Congress, as well as other government agencies an average of 1.8 million times per month. Two years ago the number of such attacks was only eight million. In July 2009 an army of zombie computers, simultaneously attacked 26 U.S. and South Korean government agencies. Presumably, the assailants were on the territory of North Korea.
But how to protect themselves against an enemy that can not see, and who hid in the network? Not only did he hide his identity, but also tries to surmount his guilt on the shoulders of others. Hackers often to perform tasks on economic and military secrets to use the services of various kinds kibernaemnikov. “We were like sheep – we did not understand what is happening” – recognized one of the participants simulations conducted at the beginning of the year in the Ministry of Defense. The attackers did not allow him to find and not given opportunities to develop a means of active defense.
But even then, we were able to find traces; almost no hacker has not been convicted. “They use a fact that there is no cooperation of those organizations that engage in investigations”, – notes, cyber-expert Chooses. For example, Estonia unsuccessfully requested in 2007 to Moscow to investigate. And in China, hackers have nothing to fear.
As a model for future wars is produced by an exchange of blows in 2008 between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And in that case, hackers were able to declare checkmate government servers. The innovation was that these attacks were coordinated with the actions in the real world, Russia’s army. “The attacks are mostly carried out after a few hours after the Russian military operation and they were discontinued shortly after its completion,” said an American expert on the Internet Scott Borg (Scott Borg). Program for the attacks can be downloaded in social networks, some of the servers and networks “bonnet” previously used by Russia’s criminal gangs. In future conflicts, according to security experts, will be used both conventional and virtual weapons, capable of creating unrest and chaos.
Some states already have at their disposal offensive kiberoruzhie. According to U.S. experts, Israel, appears to be able to infect a computer virus Iranian uranium enrichment.
Such terrorist groups like al-Qaida have not yet mastered the virtual battlefield. However, according to a department head of NATO’s information in the field of information technology Anil Suleyman (Suleiman Anil), this could change as the network will appear numerous companies for the supply, which are called scads (angle.: supervisory control and data acquisition) and they will be integrated into the global network. “After four or five years they can become attractive to terrorists.” But more important, in the opinion of the specialist of Turkish origin, acquire investments of private firms in Internet security. Nevertheless, many, in his opinion, do not feel there is no danger. This also applies to some member countries of NATO, of which the total number of representatives of only 22 states participated in joint cyber-exercises in the past year. “If international cooperation does not improve, security in information technology can become a serious global problem”, – says Anil.
So long to wait for Estonia is not going to. Experts in the field of information technology are touring across the country in order to show the Estonians, how to protect themselves from viruses, worms and Trojans. Civil defense Estonia re-established in 1991 to protect the newfound independence and numbering in its ranks the 10 000 people, is preparing for emergency in cyber-space. “The best defense is to increase the number of people able to protect your own computer; – the expert emphasizes security Tiirmaa-Klaar. – This creates a wide front of resistance.