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CYBER WARFARE UPDATE

09 Mar 11. Chinese hackers allegedly broke into a computer network run by South Korea’s defence ministry last year and stole secret documents on a plan to buy spy drones from the United States, an opposition lawmaker in Seoul said on Monday. The alleged hacking occurred in June last year, and the South Korean government has not raised the issue with the Chinese government because of a potential diplomatic row, Rep. Shin Hak-yong of the Democratic Party said in a statement.
”After being confirmed by an intelligence authority, our military’s secret plan to procure unmanned aerial vehicles was hacked by China in June last year,” Shin said in the statement.
Shin didn’t specify how the alleged hacking occurred and could not be reached for comment, and calls to his aide seeking elaboration also went unanswered. The South’s defence ministry also declined to comment on the lawmaker’s claim. South Korea has long pushed to procure four U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles to enhance its surveillance capability on North Korea. The South’s request to buy the Global Hawks was rejected in 2005 as the U.S. insisted that the Missile Technology Control Regime, which covers the unmanned planes, should be revised first. Then in 2009, the U.S. reportedly decided to sell the Global Hawks to South Korea. (Source: UAS VISION/Len Zuga)

03 Mar 11. Yes, this is yet another article about Stuxnet. But it is unlike many of the others that have been written. Just run a Google search on Stuxnet, and you will see what I mean. In preparing for this article, I got 3.8 million Google results when I searched for “Stuxnet.” I bet there have been a few added since then. In looking at the search results, a large percentage of the articles deal with the technical aspects of the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear program. A similar percentage deals with the political aspects and reasons behind the Stuxnet cyberattack, in addition to the time margin created by the attack. However, there is another area that has become quite popular and is arguably the fastest-growing area of the Stuxnet subject matter. This has been a favorite topic of spy thrillers and espionage stories throughout history: who done it? A number of articles have been posted that discuss attribution for this cyberattack. Attribution is tricky — I’ve been there and made that mistake. The articles actually named China, Israel, United Kingdom and the United States as being behind what has come to be known as the most sophisticated cyber weapon and attack seen to date, at least in the public domain. Although it’s true that all of these countries have the capacity and know-how needed to create Stuxnet, they also have the technical knowledge needed to cloak their activities and mask the identities often found in the code artifacts of cyber weapons. It is amazing to see the number of small and midsize organizations with limited resources that release articles and reports that name who is behind Stuxnet. The egos and attitudes that combine to make the authors believe they have the intelligence assets, resources, knowledge and capabilities to compete with the thought leaders in the weaponry and strategies of digital conflict that created Stuxnet are gigantic. Do they really think they have what’s necessary to unravel the mysteries behind the Stuxnet code if it were developed by China’s State Security Ministry, Israel’s Mossad, Britain’s MI6 or our CIA? These same reporters and organizations, when pushed for evidence, offer little or no substance behind their attribution, and when cornered, most fall back to the position, “They [meaning who the security firm believes was behind the attack] had motive.”
In July 2010, the House Science and Technology Committee’s Technology and Innovation Subcommittee held a hearing and discussed cyberattack attribution technology and its importance. The subcommittee discussed current and future research and development needs. There was little disagreement that the tools and techniq

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