Inside a Cyber Attack

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The global military community witnessed the first cyber war earlier this year.

While many consider the three week attack on Estonia a non-event, others point to it as a sign of things to come.

One of the most common cyber attack strategies is the network effect on the weakest link theory. The strategy requires the aggressor to identify and attack the weakest link on the network, and then use it as a cover to give the appearance of legitimacy and rapidly propagate the malicious code throughout the rest of the network.

The weakest link could be a system missing one of its security patches or an ill configured firewall. DoD networks withstood an estimated 80,000 attacks in 2007 so they are fairly well hardened and fortified.

That is not the case with many private sector systems. Cyber defense requires a much tighter cooperative relationship between defense organizations and the private sector. At this time there are NO minimum security requirements for computer systems. In the private sector system protection goes from next to nothing to as hardened as DoD systems. Addressing the weakest link will be the greatest challenge and threat to protection our nations Information Infrastructure.

-- Kevin Coleman

[Editor's Note:DT contributor Kevin Coleman is a strategic advisor and certified management consultant with technolytics and the former Chief Strategist of Netscape.

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