Nov 10. The International Security Programme at Chatham House is pleased to announce the publication of a new Chatham House Report.
On Cyber Warfare
Paul Cornish, David Livingstone, Dave Clemente and Claire Yorke
The paper is now available online. Coverage of the event ‘Cyber Warfare: Addressing the Challenges’ which took place on 9 November, including a speech from the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, is available here.
This paper argues that national strategy must be reviewed and adapted if it is to take proper account of cyber warfare.
The report proposes the following definition for cyber warfare:
• Cyber warfare can be a conflict between states, but it could also involve non-state actors in various ways. In cyber warfare it is extremely difficult to direct precise and proportionate force; the target could be military, industrial or civilian or it could be a server room that hosts a wide variety of clients, with only one among them the intended target.
The report’s key findings include:
• Cyber warfare can enable actors to achieve their political and strategic goals without the need for armed conflict.
• Cyberspace gives disproportionate power to small and otherwise relatively insignificant actors.
• Operating behind false IP addresses, foreign servers and aliases, attackers can act with almost complete anonymity and relative impunity, at least in the short term.
• In cyberspace the boundaries are blurred between the military and the civilian, and between the physical and the virtual; and power can be exerted by states or non-state actors, or by proxy.
• Cyberspace should be viewed as the ‘fifth battlespace’, alongside the more traditional arenas of land, air, sea and space. Cyber warfare is best understood as a new but not entirely separate component of this multifaceted conflict environment.
• The transatlantic relationship is important for a variety of reasons where cyber warfare is concerned. Close cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom in intelligence and military matters has extended into cyberspace, enabling both states to influence the domain in a way that is difficult, if not impossible, for any other bilateral partnership or alliance to match.
19 Nov 10. The Defense Department is aware that Internet traffic was rerouted briefly through China earlier this year, a Pentagon spokesman said on Friday, referring to what a congressionally appointed panel has described as a hijack. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission charged in its annual report on Wednesday that state-owned China Telecom advertised erroneous network routes that instructed “massive volumes” of U.S. and other foreign Internet traffic to go through Chinese servers during an 18-minute stretch on April 8. Marine Colonel David Lapan, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters,
“We’re aware that on the 8th of April … Internet traffic was rerouted through China.” He added at one point that he did not know if “we’ve determined whether that particular incident … was done with some malicious intent or not.” Moments later, he said there was no evidence that anything malicious had occurred, a position he repeated when pressed about the discrepancy in his remarks. The U.S.-China Commission in its 2010 report said the incident affected traffic to and from U.S. government and military sites, including those for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ office, the armed forces and some commercial websites. In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned the commission’s report on China’s military capabilities and economic policies, saying it distorted reality and was symptomatic of Cold War thinking. China Telecom separately has denied the charge that it “hijacked” U.S. Internet traffic by sending false notifications that prompted other servers to route traffic through China on the assumption that it was the most efficient path. The commission said the evidence did not