Israel And Hamas Take To The Virtual Streets
If you are not paying attention to what is happening in Israel with the escalating war between Israel and Hamas, then you really need to. This is how cyber war is fought, and how information security is more important than bombs or guns.
The key to what is happening is how the internet infrastructure is being used to carry on not just a propaganda war, but how it is also being subverted by hackers to send people to sites that are propaganda based. The better part would be is if the entire domain structure (DNS) was hacked to deliver malware to unsuspecting computers, that would then engage in DOS/DDOS style attacks against key military or domestic services (Government, State, Emergency Response, 911 systems, SCADA systems) that are vital to the country keeping afloat during a war.
An Islamic group based on Morocco hacked into DomainTheNet's registration system server on Friday, effectively "highjacking" various prominent domain names, the likes of ynetnews.com and Bank Discount, and rerouting users to a page featuring anti-Israel messages. DomainTheNet is a multinational registration service provider (RSP), which offers registration and site-hosting services. The attack is believed to be in retaliation to Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Source: YNetnews
By using both a DNS attack (but there is no reported malware involved with this, which is unusual or short sighted), the Islamic group could literally do all kinds of attacks against the commercial and governmental infrastructures that Israel and her Allies currently use. Domain hacking is also not new, but unlike what happened in Estonia, there are no reports of massive DDOS/DOS attacks, or more than just a simple DNS redirection by hacking a DNS server.
This is another opportunity to see how cyber war is being fought without being directly involved, and should be closely watched by any company at this point. This is how the whole thing is going to work when the internet is formally attacked as an entity. There is a common order of battle here, both the use of malware, crippling of required services, and hijacking of critical services. Companies and Government should be quietly hardening their systems to make sure that they cannot be used to spread or otherwise enable an attack against themselves or someone else. This is the important part in dealing with Cyber warfare, the idea of using multiple zombie systems, or building zombie nets to accomplish political gain or propaganda claims.
What would be interesting and probably would not be published is if the infrastructure, SCADA, Military and government systems are also being hacked or attacked at this point. It would be interesting to see if like in China, and entire battle group could be put out of commission because of hacking activity.
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About the Author:
Dan Morrill has been in the information security field for 18 years, both
civilian and military, and is currently working on his Doctor of Management.
Dan shares his insights on the important security issues of today through
his blog, Managing
Intellectual Property & IT Security, and is an active participant in the
ITtoolbox blogging community.
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