I have been talking alot about 4th Generation Warfare on this blog, in particular, the use of State-Sponsored Cyber Warfare that is used against an enemies infra-structure to disable it. This can include attacks on Utilities (water, power, oil/natural gas) Financial (banks, savings and loans, credit unions) and National Defense networks and contractors. We saw an example of this when it was discovered that Russia, in 2011, had planted a Trojan Horse (malware) called Black Energy in vital American infra-structure networks such as nuclear power plants and conventional electric power plants across this nation. It is also believed the same Russian hacker group was responsible for the attack on JP Morgan in July, in which confidential data was exposed of over 83 million people.
Fast forward to the present and the news of the day is the cyber attack by the North Korean “Guardians of Peace” on Sony Entertainment. Being called “Unprecedented” and “The most well planned Cyber-attack in recent history”, the ballsy and expansive hack has exposed tons of personal celebrity and executive information and protected trade secrets. One of the primary motives for the cyber intrusion has been thought to be to stop the release of the movie “The Interview” set to premiere on Christmas Day 2014. The goofy comedy portrays two bumbling Cheech and Chong like idiots attempting to assassinate Kim Jong Un. The film in general is said to portray North Korea in an unflattering light, which has stirred further speculation that the hack, like previous Russian jobs, is state sponsored by North Korea and NOT some “rogue” cyber-criminal gang trying to make a name for themselves in Wired magazine!
To further qualify the Sony hack was well organized and planned, several Theater chains, like Carmike and Arc-Light, have now announced they WILL NOT show “The Interview”. Not long after this came the announcement of the cancellation of the New York premiere of the film due to THREATS OF “9/11 Like” VIOLENCE by the G.O.P.
One has to conclude then, that 4th Generation Warfare has come to full fruition in the 21st Century; even if it only effected the pop-cultural part of a democracy, you have to admit, it effected it in a big way! The Cyber side of war, or one could even use the term “Cyber-Terrorism”, is now a real, viable threat to any Country around the globe. When you look at the big picture, ever since the Sony Hack occurred, it has been plastered all over the news 24/7, with a new story every day on how leaked information caused some problem for a celebrity or executive somewhere. Now, with just a simple threat (that has been backed up by obvious uber-technological skill) several multi-million dollar corporations, to include the all-powerful Sony, have cowed down to these hackers. Never in recent history has so much been accomplished without a gun or not having to shoot a hostage!
Welcome to a Brave New (Cyber) World.
Stay Armed, Stay Vigilant and Stay Dangerous!