Europe Is Developing Offensive Cyber Capabilities. The United States Should Pay Attention.

from Net Politics

It is no surprise that the United States and its European allies are looking to integrate offensive cyber capabilities as part of their military operations. Last year, the Pentagon boasted about dropping “cyber bombs” on the self-declared Islamic State group. France and the United Kingdom have built similar capabilities, as have smaller European states, such as Denmark, Sweden, Greece and the Netherlands.

Unfortunately, as NATO members rush to build their capabilities, they will quickly have to confront challenging trade-offs. Cyberweapons—or specifically the vulnerabilities they exploit—tend to be single use weapons: once a defender or vendor identifies a vulnerability being exploited, they can patch it, rendering the attacker’s capability useless as well as the capability of any other potential attacker who built a weapon around the same vulnerability. In other words, one state’s exploitation of a vulnerability will affect its allies’ ability to do the same.

As the United States’ European allies develop their capabilities, Washington will be forced to deconflict their use of cyberweapons with European capitals, especially as they look to fight the same enemies such as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Similarly, a European country would want to tip off their U.S. counterparts before attempting to dox Vladimir Putin given the fact that rendering compromising information public could tip off Russia of its vulnerabilities in specific Kremlin networks, perhaps the same vulnerabilities the United States exploits for foreign intelligence purposes.

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19 Responses to Europe Is Developing Offensive Cyber Capabilities. The United States Should Pay Attention.

  1. Andrew Imbesi April 27, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    It seems as if the tensions from the wars of the twentieth century have not gone away. Tensions continue to rise worldwide in 2017, and humanity is on the brink of another world war. Albert Einstein coined a famous phrase about a potential world war, and now that quote is beginning to receive lots of attention: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
    Well, if Einstein were alive today he would be intrigued by the power weapons possess in present times. It worries me that Putin wants to tie a 40-megaton supersonic missile to his Satan 2, and Russia is making claims that they could wipe out the United Kingdom with one bomb. It is certainly not pleasurable watching countries threaten to kill millions of civilians with a bomb. Additionally, it is shameful people have thought violence is the answer for thousands of years.
    Countries have had to step up their games in response to the cold war, and lack of competition. Recently, European countries have been stepping towards cyberwarfare, which is without a doubt critical. Being able to control the web, and technology, is like being able to control another world. There’s an analog world filled with bombs, heavy artillery, and weaponry that used to be a world on its own. Now, everything is technological, the analog world is controlled by the digital world.
    The way missile defense systems work is that, they detect these missiles from space. The most important space that must be dominated in order to obtain world power IS SPACE. Space is home to communications, missile defense systems, satellites, and much useful material used to make our own lives better, and to protect them as well. If the United States were to give up space, Americans would be doomed.
    Anticipating an apocalypse is something no one enjoys watching, and it is clear that people across the globe have had it with their overpowering governments. I would have to think that at least 80 or 90 percent of the world does not want war, so why should a few people control war?
    Power is simply overwhelming, and at a certain position, world considerations matter. Should we dismantle current policies to put power back in the hands of people? The Constitution comes from centuries ago, where the world population was much smaller. Should the President be allowed to appoint thousands of positions, or should there be more elections?
    War is not what the people want; people do not want their governments stirring unnecessary controversy. Why should millions of Americans die because one person acts irrationally? Regardless whether the person is Trump, Putin, May, KJII or Jingping, these people have power over large populations and right now their perceptions are the ones that matter. In a world full of controversy, there is no room for more. I agree with Einstein, there most likely needs to be one more war in order to reach ultimate peace.

  2. Guy Barbano April 27, 2017 at 4:22 pm #

    Every day the world gets more and more new technology. With this technology also advances greatly. The United States has and always will be one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world if not the in my opinion. With new advances in technology every day the United States still needs to watch its back from other countries on a technological rise. Europe and many of the nations there are becoming more and more technology driven. With that the United States needs to keep a close eye on some. Not too long ago the United States dropped wat they called “Cyber Bombs” on the Islamic state group. After this incident many other countries started to develop and create their own cyber weapons to use. In my opinion cyber warfare is the next big thing to come next. Forget the nuclear weapons and the heat seeking missiles. The world will soon technology driven and without it some countries could seize to exist if the technology in the country was destroy or attacked by another country. Right now technology driven might seem like it is out of the question or too far ahead to imagine. Think about this though we now have drones and pilotless planes dropping bombs and missiles. Even though cyber warfare can be a very violent type of warfare it can still be deadly and painful to the people who are being attacked. Cyber-attacks have been very common recently but nothing has happened where it involved a country doing it to another country or terrorist group besides the most recent stated earlier involving the United States. With that though the only really crazy cyber-attacks happening are those of hacker and other computer people hacking other people’s computers and making their everyday lives very miserable from stealing credit card numbers to identity. In a technology driven world though computer crime is going to spike up and become more and more common it is just a given. I feel though instead of sitting back and watching all of these countries develop ways to cyber-attack other countries why not instead lend a hand and help the allies in Europe and other areas better develop there cyber-attacks and defenses so if the time comes which I personally hope never does. Everyone is ready and not going crazy trying to figure out a way to fix the problem that has occurred and instead go on the offense or defense so the next time it is not so harmful. This will be not be the end of technology advancing in warfare at all it is only the beginning and the limits it can have are endless. Who knows maybe one day instead of people in the battlefield we will see A.I. systems fighting wars for us.

  3. Filip Bizek April 28, 2017 at 12:02 am #

    The era of technology has brought a new danger on virtually any location with the access to a computer and connection to internet. Undoubtedly, it enabled suppliers’ and consumer’s efficiency to level that have never been seen before. Not so long ago, sending a message would take days if not months at time. Now, sending a message is a matter of seconds. This is one of many examples of how impactful was the introduction of a computer and internet to human society. Nonetheless, there is a tradeoff associated with the statement above. Thieves and criminals also benefited from the technological progression, which means their threat had only become more substantial. Let us compare the present and the past in order to paint the proper picture for anyone who is reading. Back in the day, a thief would cross the fence, break the lock, and then rob the bank essentially stealing thousands of dollars. Currently, a hacker has the ability to infiltrate the virtual wall created by the online security systems from any place on earth and steal sensitive information worth at times millions of dollars. Therefore, United States and Europe are constantly upgrading their online capabilities with the purpose of initiating countermeasures against various types of hackers.

    Before the conversation is taken any further, it is necessary to mention the recent outrage with hackers’ actions in the middle of the presidential election. As you all know, DNC has been penetrated through the use of cyberattacks, which lead to extraction of critical intel on the Democratic Part and Hillary Clinton. Although it is almost impossible to measure its effect on voters’ willingness to cast the vote for Hillary Clinton, one thing is sure. It was without a doubt a factor throughout the election. What makes this whole situation even more outrageous is the simple fact that it was foreign power who stood behind the attack. Furthermore, Russia released the stolen information with the help of WikiLeaks in strategic time periods with a single purpose on mind: maximize the damage done to Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump get elected.

    There is a lesson to be learned from this infamous incident, United States even with all the money pouring into technological sectors are still a penetrable fortress when it comes to cyber-security. With this in mind, one may have an incentive to ask this question: will there ever be a time where hackers are no longer a threat. As of right now, they have proven to be capable to penetrate governmental entities and privet sectors just as well. Thus, it is only reasonable for both Europe and America to continually improve their defensive capabilities. As the article stated, there are however some difficulties with doing so due to system complications. They way to solve this problem is to ensure that United States and Europe work as a one unit on this issue rather than two separate entities. Last but not the least important, one of my biggest concerns is actually Donald Trump and his staff. He doesn’t seem to recognize the issues of the future and wants to isolate America while moving it back in time. I guess only time will tell if he understands the problem with cyberattack and cybersecurity.

  4. Christian Cox April 28, 2017 at 12:27 am #

    The United States reveres itself as the greatest military superpower on Earth. That being said, in a world that is becoming completely intertwined with the digital world brute force is not as effective as we once thought. Europe is developing offensive cyber capabilities to use as cyber weapons. Cyber warfare involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation’s computers or information networks through, for example, computer viruses or denial-of-service attacks. It is a United States requirement that the United States Air Force must always remain at least one generation ahead of all other countries. In 2015 the United States spent five hundred ninety seven billion dollars on the United States Armed Forces. China, who was ranked second, spent only one hundred forty five billion on the People’s Liberation Army. America spends more on defense than the next seven highest spending countries combined. From an outside perspective, it looks impossible to defeat the United States. However, what if you were able to cripple the United States without firing a shot. This would be revolutionary and could completely rearrange Earth’s superpowers. Cyber warfare is the clear option if one wants to win without fighting. This type of cyber warfare reminds me of a scene from Rick and Morty. Rick after a series of unbelievable events found himself with access to the Galactic Federation’s mainframe. He was able to completely destroy the Federation merely by replacing a 1 with a 0. Rick made the Galactic currency worthless and complete and utter chaos ensued. This helped better my understanding of the possibilities of cyber warfare. Imagine the complete panic that would ensue if the very fabric of our capitalistic economy were worthless. Looting would ensue immediately there would be no record of any work that had been accomplished that earned all your money. People would be angry scared and would be unwilling to listen to reason. This is obviously not a future we would hope to live in. If the United States is that concerned with its defense and security it needs to be the world leader in cyber warfare as well. We had yet another discussion about how the world is changing. Professor Shannon recalled a quote by the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” The puck is obviously heading towards the internet. One miniscule change can throw us into complete chaos; the government just is not willing to admit it. Forbes predicted that 2017 will be the year of cyber warfare and it appears they are correct. My main concern given our president’s rash actions may lead to an example of these cyber weapons. If North Korea thinks they have any shot at defeating the United States with their military they will be screwed. But, if North Korea is able to develop its cyber weapons they may just have a shot. My loyalty is with the United States, but we should allocate our budget more effectively with the changing world we are living in today.

  5. Frankie Lisa April 28, 2017 at 1:29 am #

    Humans are constantly making evolutions in warfare. After World War II we began to experiment with nuclear weapons, we then began to experiment with hydrogen weapons, biological weapons etc… The next evolution in warfare that will be implemented in the twenty first century is cyber warfare. Many countries such as the United States, The United Kingdom, and France have began to make cyber bombs. One of the major downsides of cyber weapons is that they are a one time deal, you can only use it once because the enemy will figure out how to defend against it. This vulnerability hurts many country’s ability to produce cyber weapons because they can not collaborate with each other. The United States will be forced to deconflict their use of cyber weapons with European capitals, especially as they look to fight the same enemies such as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. This has raised much controversy regarding vulnerability equities process. The VEP is a process to determine whether a government should disclose a previously unknown computer vulnerability (known as a zero-day) it has discovered or acquired to a vendor and, eventually, the public. If European countries disclose their information to vendors, then it may limit the United State’s capabilities with cyber weapons. The United States and the European union have had some disagreements on cyber security. Pan-European agreement on any issue is challenging, and cybersecurity is no different. This is a huge problem, and there are solutions that the United States and European Union can agree on. First, the annual EU-U.S. cyber dialogue, led by the State Department and European External Action Service, could commit to developing a classified information sharing platform on the processes for vulnerability disclosures, for example through the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre. Also the United States and the European Union could encourage coordination and cooperation regarding the use of cyber weapons. They could do this through the NATO commission being created on cyber weapons. Third, the use of zero-day vulnerabilities for intelligence collection efforts could be coordinated through the five, nine, and fourteen eyes intelligence communities to deconflict their use. If the United States and the European Union can coordinate the production, use, and defense of cyber weapons then I think it will be beneficial to everybody. It will allow the United States and European Union to pick put strengths and flaws in each other’s cyber weapons. If the United States wishes to remain the world’s largest military power, then it will have to get ahead in cyber warfare too.

  6. William Stuck April 28, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    We live in a world where the most powerful weapons cause no physical damage. What can be done from even the most primitive computers has the potential to cause more harm than anything on a battlefield. One could argue that the “battlefields” of tomorrow are the computer networks of today. We are seeing more and more instances of just how dangerous hacking can be. We all remember when an attack caused network problems across the east coast. Although only lasting a few hours, this attack was a major inconvenience that raised a number of questions. However, the most frightening thing about that attack was the lack of technology used to do it. Programming a number of simple computers to throw loads of data at a server is all that it took. This makes you think about what damage could be done with more advanced computer systems. This is why the United States needs to step up and create a name for itself as a technologically superior nation, able to eliminate both physical and digital threats. The article tells us that the United States and her allies in Europe are preparing to do just that. However, this presents a number of problems. First off, any exploitation used to attack another system would likely be a one time thing. It is likely that they would fix whatever vulnerability we used to infiltrate their network, meaning that we couldn’t use the same back door again. I agree that this is a problem, but nothing we can’t overcome. I don’t think we should remain as out of date as we are simply because upgrading ourselves would be a constant challenge. And if we become a nation with superior technology (which should happen soon) then finding loopholes in older software should be a cakewalk. Another problem raised by the article is the idea of keeping our allies informed. It says that we would have to tell our allies about who we are attacking and how. I think this is a great idea. We should take it even further and attempt coordinated attacks. Even if a system could resist one attack or infiltration attempt, there’s no way they could fend off a coordinated attack from a number of advanced systems throughout the United States and Europe. This kind of attack could also mean we could get in and out quicker with whatever information we wanted to take, maybe even before we are noticed. I don’t understand exactly how all of this works, but it makes sense in theory. In conclusion, I think our technological prowess is almost embarrassing. It is something that needs to be fixed. The United States, a shining example of innovation and industry, should not be taken down by a bunch of toasters spitting gigabytes of information at it. Hopefully sometime soon we will upgrade our capabilities and become a nation capable of using our enemies data to further our own causes. We should be the aggressor rather than the victim in the emerging field of cyberwarfare.

  7. Alex Stephen April 28, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

    Consistently the world gets increasingly new innovations. With this innovation it additionally propels significantly. The Unified States has and dependably will be a standout amongst the most innovatively propelled nations on the planet Is how I would view it. With new advances in innovation consistently the Unified States still needs to watch its actions on a mechanical ascent. Europe and a considerable lot of the countries there are winding up plainly more innovational driven. With that the United States needs to watch out for people who are a concern to the nation.

    We are seeing an increasingly significant number of occasions of exactly how risky hacking can be. We as a whole recollect when an assault brought on system issues over the east drift. Albeit just enduring a couple of hours, this assault was a noteworthy bother that brought up various issues. However, the most startling thing about that assault was how the absence of innovation used to do it. Programming various straightforward PCs to toss heaps of information at a server is all that it took. This makes you consider what harm should be possible with more propelled PC frameworks. This is the reason the United States needs to venture up and make a name for itself as an innovatively predominant country, ready to dispose of both physical and computerized dangers. The article reveals to us that the Unified States and it’s partners in Europe are get ready to do only that. In any case, this displays various issues. For one thing, any misuse used to assault another framework would likely be only done once. It is likely that they would settle whatever weakness we used to penetrate their system, implying that we couldn’t utilize the same secondary passage once more. I concur this is an issue, yet nothing we can’t successfully overcome.

  8. Owen Balseiro April 28, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

    With the insane advancement and important of the internet. It has come to no surprise that with most things, people have found a way to exploit it. The difference between the internet and most things though, is that businesses and our own government seem to be on the back end of it all. Of the course of the last decade or so, we have seen a multitude of cyber attacks target everything from icloud accounts to banks and businesses and our own government. It seems that many people in our government do not fully understand how dangerous cyber attacks are. And now that Europe is getting ahead of us, the results could be disastrous for the United States. The relationship between the United States and most of Europe barring Great Britain and much of Eastern Europe is strained to say the least. And with the difficulty of tracing who actually launched the attack will only serve to make everyone distrusting of the rest.

    As the United States and the rest of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rush to build up their cyber arsenal, many difficulties will have to be faced. One example is that many cyber attacks are one use only as the vulnerability that they exploit will quickly get filled as soon as the defenders find it. The new world of cyberspace holds countless opportunities for humankind to evolve and better it’s self but it also holds countless dangers for itself. One hacker can potentially bring down a country’s economy and in our current globalized world start of domino effect of several countries. One hacker can launch a missile and cause a war between countries that can tumble down into a world war or even a nuclear war.

    It is clear to me that our governments and businesses need to see cyber security as a top priority. There is too much to lose if a hacker gets too much information from a hack. We have seen a glimpse already with the huge icloud privacy hack that happened several years ago. Known all over the internet as the fappening. It was probably the largest privacy hack to date and dozens of actresses and celebrities had their private photos leaked online for all to see. Even as the main sites took down the user uploaded photos the internet never forgets and the photos that were shared will never be fully gone.

    Even though the privacy hack had really minor damage in terms of monetary of physical harm it did show that there are people out there who can and are willing to use the internet for malicious purposes. And these are only people who do it for themselves and have relatively small funding. If we were to give these people government level funding, there is not much they can not do and the damage is going to be insane. Our government needs to work with itself and its allies to strengthen and increase the amount of its cyber capabilities as the internet is becoming a larger and larger role. It is only a matter of time before people start playing for keeps.

  9. Thomas Dellisanti April 28, 2017 at 7:07 pm #

    As stated in the past, the concern of cyber war has become a prominent and very serious issue. Wars that have previously been fought with destructive bombs can now be fought through the use of technology. Another article showed that members of Congress that were in charge of defenses of the country were not prepared for a potential cyber-attack, which is incredibly scary to think about. A hacker can take control of the country’s defenses, including missiles, which can endanger the lives of millions of people. Hackers can potentially do more damage now than any individual bomb can. With technology developing quickly, it is important now more than ever to be prepared and protected from hackers.

    It is no surprise that cyber weapons are now being developed to start a new addition to military strategies and capabilities. Europe is now making advancements on offensive cyber capabilities, so it is important for the United States to cooperate when dealing with policies that involve cyber capabilities. As a country, I think that we are behind on where we should be regarding being prepared for cyber attacks. As shown in the previous article, we were recently unprepared and vulnerable to a potential cyber attack that could have had disastrous consequences. We need to develop certain similar capabilities to Europe so we are not caught unprepared. Cyber weapons are becoming the weapons of the future, so we must develop them first so we are prepared for the future and not playing catch up.

    An important factor that this article mentions is that the United Stated must be willing to cooperate and be on the same page regarding cyber warfare and cyber security. A degree of trust must be established in order to be able to share each country’s cyber vulnerabilities. Classified meetings, coordination, and the use of “zero day vulnerabilities” are mentioned as efforts to disclose important information in order to improve on any flaws in each country’s cyber security system. However, regardless of the outcomes of cooperating, the United States must focus on strengthening both cyber defenses and cyber offenses to prepare for the future.

    The consequences of having some vulnerabilities in the cyber infrastructure in the United States can be extremely devastating. Several months ago, there was a cyber attack that caused almost the entire Internet to essentially be shut down for a day. This had a severe impact on the everyday lives of millions of people. At the very least, people were not able to access their social media accounts, and at the worst, it caused mass panic. Hackers have the capability to ruin people’s individual lives by hacking into anyone’s accounts and taking control of them. Even on a small scale, this can be extremely destructive to people’s personal lives. On a large scale, an exploited vulnerability can cause the deaths of thousands, possible hundreds of thousands of people. If the country’s defense system were to be hacked, the effects would be unspeakable. To prevent this from happening, we need to focus on strengthening our cyber security to prepare for the future and try to become a much safer society.

  10. Ryan Appello April 28, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

    The way wars are waged is changing forever. Cyber warfare is becoming the main way for countries to carry out battles against their enemies. Instead of having to send soldiers across oceans to deal with the bad guys, all a country would need is sophisticated tech to send their opponents back to the Stone Age. The article discusses a very interesting situation that the United States and its allies in Europe face. Basically, the article explains that if the United States does develop an exploit to an enemies system, it would be in their best interest to share it with their allies so they know it is being used. This is because these types of weapons are usually one time deals. Once an exploit is seen, it can be identified and fixed so it never happens again. So, if the United States doesn’t tell its allies, it could be wasting their resources and time in the fight.

    In a more general point of view, this signals that cyber warfare is something that is valued by not just the United States, but by both its allies and its enemies. Instead of just having the biggest, most powerful military, the Unites States needs to be able to keep up with the rest of the world in order to maintain its global presence, and more importantly, its own safety at home. If we sit back and only rely on our actual military, our countries internal infrastructure could be infiltrated with no warning at all. These types of attacks have actually been used by many of the United States enemies in the past, including Russia and China. If we do remain vulnerable in these areas, we are sacrificing much of our authority and risking the loss of our safety at home. In order to stay ahead of the curve, I believe that the United States and its allies should collaborate to create an effective and secure system to both defend and carryout cyber-attacks in the future. If the United States and its allies aren’t on the same page on this subject, it could prove to be extremely damaging in the future. I order to maintain global security, information needs to be shared so everyone can be properly informed.

    Dangerous groups like ISIS or North Korea have made great strides in carrying out these types of attacks. This makes them increasingly more powerful and even more difficult to deal with. The United States can’t rely on drone strikes to effectively disable these groups. Especially if the ones carrying out these attacks aren’t even soldiers. These battles need to be fought on the cyber platform if positive results are to be found. As I said, this hinges on the communication between Europe and the United States. Platforms must be created to allow for proper communication between these groups in order to pursue the safety of everyone involved. Our intelligence agencies can’t remain secret in carrying out these attacks because it sacrifices the safety of our allies.

  11. Benjamin Jaros April 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

    I honestly cannot even fully comprehend how much war has changed over the past century. The beginning of World War I saw the last of infantry and cavalry charges. Now today, we are concerned about making sure our cyber-attacks are coordinated with our neighbors and allies. What a dramatic shift in the way we attack other countries.
    Now, I think the main question raised by this article is why aren’t allied countries working to coordinate their cyber capabilities currently.
    I think part of the reason comes from a bit of “American” distrust of Europe. Since its founding, America has appreciated it ability to act with autonomy in economic affairs and political affairs in the world. Further, another part of the issue comes from a desire to hold matters of national security confidential. Europe’s interests are not always aligned with those of the United States, especially now and they could split even further if in the next few weeks there is a certain result in the French election.
    Therefore, I am not necessarily opposed to the United States keeping their own offensive cyber capabilities from Europe, because once our capabilities are out there, we might as well send an email to Putin with our capabilities (Unless he already has it ? ). Anyways, I think once we share our information with Europeans in general we also lose the security behind it protecting that information. Further, I also think that if we were to share it, that we would need to share it amongst only a few select allies.
    I am also not certain that the Europeans will so willingly share the information with us. Information is an important part of cybersecurity. However, it is different when it comes to offense. Defense helps everyone. Offense is intended to hurt someone.
    In the foreseeable future, I do not see what is being called for as a reality. The reality is, why would any country give away its weapons that rely upon confidentiality for potency? It would be better for a the country to just launch a failed attack than to give up the element of surprise that they hold over the victim nation. However, it is possible that nations may share information regarding cyber-defense. Defense is likely already known by the attacker in the first place, so this could potentially happen.

  12. Austin O'Reilly April 28, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

    This article really sheds light on how the world has changed and is shifting to a technological warfare rather than a military warfare. Wars and battles will be won through information, and code. The defense systems will be build through high tech fire walls preventing enemy invaders, or even countries from hacking and taking information. The main question raised by this article is why aren’t allied countries working to coordinate their cyber capabilities currently. This is due to America’s lack of trust with Europe, even though we are allies with them. Furthermore, part of the issue comes from a desire to hold matters of national security confidential. Europe’s interests are not always aligned with those of the United States, especially now and they could split even further if in the next few weeks there is a certain result in the French election.
    Therefore, I am not necessarily opposed to the United States keeping their own offensive cyber capabilities from Europe, because once our capabilities are out there, there is no telling what may happen. Once we share our information with Europeans in general we also lose the security behind it protecting that information. Further, I also think that if we were to share it, that we would need to share it amongst only a few select allies.
    I am also not certain that the Europeans will so willingly share the information with us. Information is an important part of cybersecurity. However, it is different when it comes to attacking security. Defense, or protecting ones information would benefit everyone. Whereas attacking is intended to harm someone, or to get your hands on information you shouldn’t see.
    I do not see this happening in the future, because I do not see the benefits of sharing the secrets of our defense system. Once other countries have our information, they can turn on us. There is no way to ensure that America’s data is secure if everyone knows how we secure it. It would open the US to too much risk.

  13. Robert Seijas April 29, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

    The increasing activity in cyber warfare and cyber weaponry is an incredibly dangerous and relatively open-ended area of cyber defense and offense. This is due to the fact that not only are there a growing number of countries involved in this type of warfare, but also that cyber weaponry grows on itself exponentially. This trait is shared with most technology, as it tends to improve and grow exponentially with every single development building the foundation for the next ten. Cyber weaponry is no different from processors and memory. What we understood of technological and cyber weapon advancement ten years ago hails in comparison to what we know today, as well as what we are on the verge of developing.
    Although cyber weaponry is incredibly dangerous based on what it can do and how it can grow, the most dangerous aspect has to be its unpredictability. Perhaps the greatest example of an unpredictable cyber weapon is the stuxnet virus. Stuxnet is a highly malicious computer worm that is not only responsible for targeting industrial computer systems, but also doing incredible amounts of damage to the Iranian nuclear program. Stuxnet also seeped into an unknown number of computers worldwide and the infection may be spreading forever. There is no way to know if every single computer with the virus on it has been cleaned, and if one has been missed then the infection is set to spread all over again. This was the first of the modern cyber weapons, aside from the average virus. It created new possibilities for cyber warfare, and opened up Pandora’s Box. With endless possibilities now available, the highly malicious and uncompressed virus is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of cyber warfare and weaponry.
    The dangers of these weapons are very well known, from turning computers into bricks to overspinning and destroying nuclear centrifuges. The dangers are clear, and it may even be easy to speculate how much worse they can get with more and more technology and software writing. However, it is not as easy to speculate exactly how these weapons can grow and develop over time. Whether they are completely new programs or built from existing ones can completely change how they are understood and even what they can do. Since we have already seen some in action, it is generally understood the extent to which they can do damage. What is not understood is how they are written, what they are based on, and how they can transmit themselves and evolve on their own. These are some of the most important aspects, as they define exactly what the weapons are capable of and what they can become capable of in the near future. One of the most important things to be able to do is to understand how they work so that the exploits they use can be patched, and so that a counterattack can be built as well. Cyber weapons are an ever-evolving technology that poses an unprecedented level of threat that can only be construed as highly dangerous. We must do everything in our power to heavily monitor the technologies and make sure that we can control what we do not understand.

  14. Donovan Morris May 26, 2017 at 11:18 pm #

    The world is continuously being introduced to new technologies that influence how governments must react and also set forth regulations that govern the use of these technologies. It seems that Facebook became vulnerable to Russian cyber-attacks during the United States presidential election. Facebook has since committed itself to make sure that news that is posted on its feed have backing and to cut down on news that could potentially harm citizens. Russia in a way was able to find the vulnerability of the people of this country, which is they can easily believe what they see in social media and it is one of the fastest ways to spread news to all people as quickly as possible. In recent news it has been brought to the attention of US officials that European nations have been developing their cyber capabilities, which will lead to the ability to infiltrate other organizations which pose a threat to their citizens or their interests. This could mean that the US will lose their capabilities to infiltrate these organizations as well because the European nations could use vulnerabilities that the US already uses and the discovery of these vulnerabilities would erase them as the organizations would patch the vulnerabilities. A program known as VEP is used to assess if nations should disclose the vulnerabilities that they have found to a vendor and then the public. This means that the US could have different policies and not want to share the vulnerabilities that are in organizations, but the European nations could disclose the information not knowing that the US has been using the vulnerability. These leads to the development of a system so that European nations and the US share information, this will compile intelligence that they have been able to gather. Failure to do so would result in wasted resources because of the shutdown of a vulnerability in an organization that poses an immediate threat to the US.

  15. Amanda Skalski June 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    The internet has become a scary people. It tracks you every move now where ever you are. It could be on your phone, your laptop or even your watch if you have a watch that connects to your phone or laptop. This has become a crazy idea for some but most of it it is normal. Nothing is ever really secret on your computer anymore. Hackers are becoming more and more advanced everyday. They can probably break into any system if they want to including bank accounts. I believe this is a good idea for the United States and Europe to build up a defensive against cyber attacks. Any enemy can reach into their government database and start taking useful information about our army or military. These defenses are also good because some of our weapons are accessed through the internet and computers. Having cyber weapons is good for a country because they are fast access to them but they are also a victim of self harm if someone can hack into them. This new advancement in technology does not just harm the security of the United States, it could cause harm to the public without even meaning too. If the computers are down in a country, the country can actually be useless in what it’s next move are based on the fact that most parts of government will not be able to communicate since none of their technology securities will be safe to talk over.

  16. Antonne Watson June 10, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

    We live in a world where technology is a huge part of our lives. With that being said, advancements to technology are in high demand due to personal consumer purposes, advancements in the field of health care and also for government uses. The United States claims the title of having the best military on the planet. In a world that is becoming completely mixed with the technology world, aggressive action is not as effective as we once thought. With new advances in technology every day the United States still needs to be on the look out from other countries rising in the field of technology. Europe and many of the nations there are becoming more and more technology driven. The United States needs to watch out for certain countries. Recently, European countries have been stepping towards cyber warfare, which is very critical. Being able to control the web, and technology, is like being able to control another world. There’s a world populated with missiles, huge guns, and weaponry that used to be a world on its own. This will be not be the end of technology advancing in warfare at all it is only the beginning and the limits it can have are endless. Maybe one day instead of people in the battlefield we will see an army of Artificial Intelligence in many forms fighting alongside with us…or against us.

  17. zonghao li September 8, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    The United States and its European allies have developed “cyber bombs” to be used against the self declared Islamic State group. However, a key problem emerges as NATO members build their cyberweapons. While fit for the new digital age, these weapons tend to be single use weapons as they exploit a certain vulnerability. This means that once used, another weapon that exploits the same vulnerability will be rendered useless because the targets will know what to look out for. Strategically speaking, these weapons may be perfectly fit for an age of information, but effectiveness is limited in that the cyberweapon attackers will affect their allies’ ability to launch similar attacks. In terms of real application of cyberweapon technology, the limitation will force United States to collaborate with its European allies in both potential attacks against enemies such as Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, and Russia.

    However, what this stockpiling of cyberweapons could mean in a larger context is that it is ever important for nations to come up with new technology. Our views of war which are shaped by WWII and such are long archaic as the internet and other information-related technology increasingly take over our lives. For example, Russia’s troll factory which produces Facebook and Twitter content to spread propaganda help spread false information or half truths that can change many people’s opinions. Now, as much as social media like Facebook and Twitter is useful to spread positive and newsworthy topics, they are as much destructive as internet hackers exploit them. And the list goes on as celebrity iPhones get hacked and politicians’ emails get leaked among many other technology-exploited incidents occur. Just like this, technology has changed many facets of our lives for good, but also improved the potential for the bad. Scandals like the NSA spying that Snowden revealed are only the tip of the iceberg as new technology is being developed.

    Therefore, the importance of technology must be stressed, and the NATO members developing new cyberweapons are a part of the larger picture that we are in a race to develop the newest, most innovative technology. Perhaps like Elon Musk has said about the possibility of WWIII being fought over AI technology, there will be conflicts over the most cutting-edge technology. But as this article points out, maybe the dangers of a sizable scale cyber war are already upon us: not simply releasing propaganda or espionage activities, but the possibility of an organized conflict between two parties. Because even before AI as we know in movies and video games such as Cortana will be developed, it is all the more likely that semi-sentient AI that can assist pilots or automated drones (versions which exist already) will be developed to a feasible scale. Either way, we can conclude that like the article points out that the United States and its allies are stockpiling modern weapons, there will be change, and it will be because of new technology.

  18. Henry Steck September 8, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    I found this article to be interesting, but saw two major dark areas. While non-state actors possessing cyber attack capabilities are absolutely a concern, we must also consider state sponsored players coming from areas such as Eastern Europe and Asia that have caused just as much trouble arguably. The second component I found to missing was any consideration of Trump’s impact on the situation. The article has a huge picture with Trump right at the top… Come on.

    I’ll start with the state vs non-state actors point I made above. This article makes it sound like IS is the largest concern in the fight for cyber security. The reality on the ground is that the organization is on its back feet. I just read about the siege lifted on Deir Ezzour. Loosing oil fields left and right such as in the strategic Deir Ezzour area, and thus income, IS has no money to be investing in increasing cyber attack competencies. I feel that their capacity is more or less capped. Unstable revenue streams are concerning for more non-state actors than just IS. Trump’s new plan for Afghanistan, including the support of Pakistan and India will certainly put the Taliban under fiscal stress. The point I am trying to make is that non-state actors are a highly relevant concern in terms of cyber security, but lack the sustained state support to have the same impact as secretly sponsored state actors.

    Speaking of the devil, much better funded are state sponsored hackers based in countries like China and Russia. They have been implicated in hacking occurring almost everywhere in the cyber neighborhood; everything form credit card numbers to potentially an election have been stolen. France and now Germany have both publicly commented on concern of Russian cyber-tampering in massive head of state elections this year. This article should have focused on threats coming from within Europe in the form of Putin’s Russia as well. Non-state players are an important component, but only a section of the digital pie.

    If you have made it to here reading without skimming, congratulations. My final point involves the nonexistence of the president of the United States in this article. The writer types out US interaction with the EU in complex DOS led discussions on VEP, making it read like a given. I just came back from Germany, and I can tell you that taking such negotiations for granted is short sighted. I will skip the examples for this (Macron meeting Trump on Bastille day and many, many more) but our colleges in Europe aren’t particularly happy with Trump and thus rightfully own hesitation to speak with the US administration. I am not trying to take a side, but simply state what I encountered there. Beyond the skepticism Europe holds, Trump is cutting back on the DOS. I believe the organization is still on a hiring freeze. Nothing points to the simplicity of cooperation which this article eludes to.

  19. Lucas Nieves-Violet September 9, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

    I can say that it is not surprising to see Europe starting to care for itself and starting to rely less and less on the U.S. Having grown up in France I know exactly how neighboring countries in Europe feel about the new man in charge (Mr. Trump) and it’s not pretty. While some may not realize countries in Europe more precisely the higher powers like France, the United Kingdom and Germany have become wary and cautious of President Trump’s actions. The world is shaken and taken aback by some of his decisions which are the cause of why those countries have started to become more secretive and hide technological advances not only from one another but mostly from the U.S. Political leaders not only affect a country itself they change the attitudes of other nations as well.
    Cyber security is extremely important everything today is becoming computerised and cyber bombs, and hacks are becoming the new pillars to defend and attack a country. It is no surprise that Europe is looking to strengthen those points and hide them in fact from countries like the U.S. After the Snowden incident Europe’s countries realized just how exposed their secrecy was. Each country in Europe additionally understood how much advanced the U.S technology was and feared it. The only way they could defend themselves was to create their own cyber security network and start keeping it a secret.
    As Jeppe T. Jacobsen states in the article “The VEP is a process to determine whether a government should disclose a previously unknown computer vulnerability (known as a zero-day)”. Europe and the U.S should get used to seeing this disappears in the near future. While it is important for NATO superpower to share information with each other so that they could progress, the U.S has demonstrated massive advantage on its allies. The message was received loud and clear and the ties have switched. NATO superpowers have started to put themselves and their best interest first and are determined to achieve computer progress in order to defend themselves.
    I found this article to have a deeper meaning that is not being discussed the issue is now not only about being able to defend a country it’s also about being able to attack one. “Cyber Bombs” like the ones created by Edward Snowden now have the capacity if needed to take out a whole country like Japan to its knees by rendering all that is electronic dead. This new engineered software have become part of a greater platform, they become a risk to not only the nation but to others, often times on the brink of producing new wars. If we are being realistic those VIP’s, or EU-U.S. cyber dialogue are a joke especially to the U.S. This article most importantly failed to mention that most of the U.S computer advantages are not used to defend the country but favored in war such as the one happening with ISIS. The war between the U.S and ISIS has become an excuse for government agencies to use their new technology skills.
    This article lastly talks about the U.S being able to communicate their technology issues with other nations of the EU, which we know is a lie. I see this article or those meetings as a way for the U.S to only become better and gain the advantage on other nations sharing their skills and struggles. The U.S has proved to be ahead technology wise by always being involved in threats but also always mentioning their newest advances and assets, such as satellites, bombs like the MOAB or the latest “cyber bombs” such as the one created by Edward Snowden.

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