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  • Tech Discussion Web War II: What a future cyberwar will look like
    By Michael Gallagher BBC World Service

    Quote:Operation Locked Shields, an international military exercise held last month, was not exactly your usual game of soldiers. It involves no loud bangs or bullets, no tanks, aircraft or camouflage face-paint. Its troops rarely even left their control room, deep within a high security military base in Estonia.

    These people represent a new kind of combatant - the cyber warrior.

    One team of IT specialists taking part in Locked Shields, were detailed to attack nine other teams, located all over Europe. At their terminals in the Nato Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, they cooked up viruses, worms, Trojan Horses and other internet attacks, to hijack and extract data from the computers of their pretend enemies.

    Cyberwar glossary I

    Botnet: Geographically-dispersed network of infected computers which can be controlled remotely without their owners' knowledge, and used to attack other computers or networks
    Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDOS): A means of knocking websites offline by overwhelming them with bogus traffic
    Trojan Horse: Malicious software masquerading as something legitimate. Some Trojans even appear to be anti-virus software
    Virus: Malicious computer programme designed to make a computer or network malfunction
    Worm: A type of virus that can replicate itself. Worms can multiply sufficiently to consume a computer's available memory or hard disk

    The idea was to learn valuable lessons in how to forestall such attacks on military and commercial networks. The cyber threat is one that the Western alliance is taking seriously.

    It's no coincidence that Nato established its defence centre in Estonia. In 2007, the country's banking, media and government websites were bombarded with Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks over a three week period, in what's since become known as Web War I. The culprits are thought to have been pro-Russian hacktivists, angered by the removal of a Soviet-era statue from the centre of the capital, Tallinn.

    Sum' Sauce.

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