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Is Cyber Warfare the Next Battle Front?
Technology has given us untold gifts – robotic surgery, reusable rockets, animated online casino games and face time with family and friends. It has also spawned cyber warfare… the next generation of combat capable of creating chaos on a massive scale.
Is Cyber Warfare Strictly the Stuff of Sci-Fi Novels?
Cyber warfare is not a new concept. It is the core subject of dozens of riveting sci-fi thrillers. ‘Orders of Battle’, ‘Dark Matter’, ‘The Space Between Worlds’ and ‘Cyberwarfare and the New World Order’ all provide readers with a glimpse of future conflicts, where battles are waged remotely from thousands of kilometres away.
In this new type of fictional combat, elite special forces are not only heavily armed robotic assassins capable of physically infiltrating enemy lines. They are hackers who sit in safe and comfortable conditions, subverting IT networks and systems controlling every conceivable aspect of society.
Hybridised Assaults on the Enemy
Cyber warfare is essentially a hybridised assault on the enemy. The hackers disarm and dismantle operations on a grand scale – and the drones, soldiers and military robots do the mopping up. It is a co-ordinated strike at the heart of an adversary… and one that is difficult to track and mitigate.
A Real-World Scenario
What is noteworthy is cyber warfare is already happening in the real-world scenario. It is no longer a figment of the sci-fi writer’s creative imagination or the central theme of slots casino games at Springbok Casino.
Battalions of hackers and coders, organised into groups like REvil, Dark Side and the Conti Crime Gang, are wreaking their own special kind of havoc, as we speak...
We are not talking about ransomware or cyber-attacks per se – although there is an element of both in the latest incidents – we are referring to acts of sabotage by one nation on another.
USA’s Largest Fuel Pipe Rendered Inoperative
Just a few weeks ago, the largest oil pipeline in the USA, the Colonial Pipeline was rendered inoperative by hackers who demanded a $4.4 million ransom paid in Bitcoin. This latest attack prompted government officials to compare acts of sabotage with acts of terror.
A special response team was created to tackle the heightened threat of cyber warfare in America, warfare that is allegedly backed by the likes of Iranian, North Korean and Russian intelligence.
What Would a Special Cyber Warfare Response Team Look Like?
In days gone by, a team of that nature would be made up of elite US Marines trained in subterfuge and close combat. Team members would be physically powerful and armed with the latest weapons and technology and they would carry out missions with ruthless intent.
Thanks to the distance-battlegrounds of cyber warfare, special ops is now code-and-device driven. Computer nerds have effectively deposed battle-hardened operatives in the military pecking order! The cerebrally inclined with that special algorithmic skill sets are now in higher demand than ever before.
IT and Coding Nerds with Advanced Keyboard Skills
Hand to hand combat has been replaced by advanced keyboard skills – like those required for playing the best casino games online at Springbok Casino. Instead of hunting down the real-world enemy, the focus is on finding the malware that corroded the systems or developing the decryption keys capable of restoring operational functionality.
Only the Methods Have Changed
The concept behind cyber warfare is essentially the equivalent of online gambling platforms like Springbok Casino. A combination of sophisticated hardware and software has superseded the brick-and-mortar gambling halls. Gambling is now enabled at a virtual destination where everything, including the casino games, is available on a digital device.
Whether its cyber warfare, emergency medical surgery or playing casino games for real money, the methods may have changed… but the end results are precisely the same!
Widespread Orchestrated Cyber Warfare is Here
The most recent incidents in America have been isolated attacks on key points like the electrical grid and fuel pipeline. There are, however, examples of cyber warfare that has brought entire countries to a standstill.
In some cases, assaults on the transport, infrastructure, communications and banking systems have been synchronised with actual physical attacks on people and places.
Cyber Warfare in the Ukraine
The Ukrainian conflict of 2015 is probably one of the best examples of orchestrated cyber warfare. Hours prior to the invasion by Russian troops, hackers destroyed infrastructure, media sites and rail and air systems using wiper malware. The entire region around the capital Kiev was effectively blacked out, rendering it incapable of defending itself.
Synched Cyber Attacks in Estonia and Georgia
In Estonia, banking systems and ATMs crashed, and media and government sites were brought down by a relentless series of DDoS attacks carried out by Russian bots. Nearby, in Georgia, many of the systems and networks responsible for keeping the lights on and public transport going malfunctioned due to sustained digital attacks.
Even remote gaming platforms, like Springbok Casino, were incapable of providing access to their casino games, bonuses and support services. It was an all-encompassing IT blackout designed to unnerve and intimidate residents.
Cyber Chaos as a Calculated First Strike
A hybridised battleground incorporating both cyber warfare and conventional warfare appears to be gaining traction, and the efficacy is hard to fault. What better way to wage a war than by crippling the country’s power generation, communications and money moving capabilities… hours before a physical strike?
Purpose-Designed Code as a Weapon of Destruction
Contemporary Cold War does not necessarily have to be an all-out assault. There has been a least one example of targeted cyber warfare involving a single line of complex code.
The so-called Stuxnet malware was specifically designed to physically destroy equipment used in Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. The 500-kilobyte worm went on to infect the computer software at more than 12 Iranian facilities – whether intentionally or by mistake is anyone’s guess.
More Effective Than a Ballistic Weapon
Purpose designed malware, such as Stuxnet, has the capabilities to cripple power grids, derail trains, poison water supplies and cause air traffic control systems to malfunction. As a weapon, it is more potent than a ballistic missile or Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) as it has the potential to simultaneously destroy vital, life-sustaining systems country-wide.
A Synchronised Assault Involving Apps and Bots
Cyber warfare is not the next battle front. It is already the chosen tactic of the most powerful nations on the planet. In a new technology-driven world, the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Battle of Iwo Jima will be replaced by a single synchronised assault involving hardware, software, bots and weapons.
The only humans will be the hackers and controllers who, together with AI and machine learning, direct the action inside the enemy networks and systems – and on the front – located far, far away.
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