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United States

Bush Orders Guidelines for Cyber-Warfare 622

Jeremiah writes "The pending Iraqi war promises to deliver quite the display of modern, smart technology well beyond what we saw in '91. President Bush recently ordered the development of rules for cyber engagement by the military. Beyond the numerous special forces on the ground like in Afganistan, the US will use soldiers in office chairs to disrupt Iraqi infrastructure."
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Bush Orders Guidelines for Cyber-Warfare

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  • by Da Fokka ( 94074 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:32AM (#5249522) Homepage have to stop the DDOS when you get the 'destination unreachable'
    • Well, it's probably not goint to be distributed, but it'd be great if there were international sanctions placed on cyber-warfare methods. Somehow, though, I doubt our government will be that effective, and that Iraq will have enough connected systems to really do any good.
      • I doubt <snip> that Iraq will have enough connected systems to really do any good.

        That's because we have been DOSing them for the last ten years already. A DOS from a ping flood or an air strike has pretty much the same effect, although it's a bit easier to reboot a crashed server than try to dig it out of the crater.

      • by Kirijini ( 214824 ) <kirijini&yahoo,com> on Friday February 07, 2003 @11:56AM (#5250538)
        On the Contrary, Iraq has "largest and most efficient food-distribution system of its kind in the world... employing a massive network of trucks, computers, warehouses and neighborhood distributors to provide basic sustenance for every Iraqi." This is from the Washington Post. []

        If Iraq uses a huge, intricate computer system to distribute food, you don't think they'd also use it for military purposes? I think, rather, that a computerized attack would be very effective.

        Especially if they use Windows.
        • by Corvaith ( 538529 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @01:33PM (#5251509) Homepage
          This is the first I've heard of this, and it does raise some troubling questions. The Iraqi leadership has always been painted as fundamentally uncaring about their people--and yet, they've taken the time to develop a system specifically to make sure that everyone is fed, something we can't even do here?

          At the very least, it explains why the people support Saddam Hussein--if we come in and take over, I somehow doubt we're going to be nearly as concerned with making sure that people have food and other basic necessities.
        • Of course, if they are using Windows, we could easily cripple their entire country by having Microsoft do a full-scale software license audit. That would keep most of their government personnel tied up for months, at least. Much more effective than weapons inspectors. Plus, what are the chances they are actually complying?
    • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:46AM (#5250000) Journal
      ...the Geneva convention...

      Seems to me that attacks aimed primarily at a civilian population, like depriving the Iraqi people of their porn fix, would be explicitly banned by the Geneva convention.
  • Curious (Score:3, Funny)

    by KoolDude ( 614134 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:34AM (#5249534)

    ...the US will use soldiers in office chairs to disrupt Iraqi infrastructure...

    Is Kevin Mitnick getting one of those chairs ? ;)
    • Is Kevin Mitnick getting one of those chairs ? ;)

      That would be a coup. SE hacking Arab speakers in west coast English!
      • Re:Curious (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mmol_6453 ( 231450 )
        One of the tools a cracker uses is social engineering. And unless he can speak fluent, unaccented Arabic, he won't be able to directly use that tool.

        Of course, there could be a separate team for that. But I suspect a strict government like Iraq has paperwork for everything. And inquisitions for those who forget their paperwork.
        • Re:Curious (Score:3, Insightful)

          by macdaddy357 ( 582412 )
          While Bush and his cronies who probably have VCRs flashing twelve make rules about how the military will use high tech whizbangs, our enemies plot how to take advantage of how dependent we are on those high tech whizbangs. They can use something as simple as a box cutter, or dynamite strapped to a donkey.
          • Re:Curious (Score:4, Insightful)

            by stanmann ( 602645 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @12:40PM (#5250944) Journal
            You know, we have a president, who is smart enough to know that he doesn't know everything, and therefore has surrounded himself with specialists he trusts to not lie to him, and to give him advice on subjects of importance. So, it would be logical to guess that those drafting (vs those signing/championing) the guidelines would know the tech.
    • Re:Curious (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kelt ( 85402 )
      IF he is, the gov't wouldn't tell us... you think they're mature enough to swallow their pride and say, 'oh, you know that 'bad for america' thing we spouted for a while? well, now he is good for america...'

      however, his spirit is definitely in those chairs... I am sure No Such Agency has recruited a small army of hackers/crackers/deviant engineers that all have learned from or been inspired by Kevin, 2600 and all the organizations that the gov't watches regularly...

      so, if his physical being is not there, I am sure many of his tools and his soul are partially there...

  • "President Bush has signed a secret directive ordering the government to develop..."

    Not so secret any more, is it?
    • Secret Ops (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'd heard that they were concerned about the possibility of "fail safe" switches going off when attacking installations that have weapons of mass destruction. The concern was that if these installations were severed from communication with Baghdad the weapons would automatically be launched.

      This article says "an administration official ... declined to confirm or deny whether such planning was underway," possibly because planning is done and the attack has already begun? Think about it - if they want to overcome these fail safes, what's the best way to do it? Break into the systems that initiate/run them and disable them before the physical attacks even begin. So that would make such electronic attacks part of the preperation and planning for physical attacks.

      If they plan on attacking physically in under six months (and I think Bush does, or at least would like to), then they would probably be breaking into the systems right now...

  • My question... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mmol_6453 ( 231450 ) <> on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:35AM (#5249539) Homepage Journal
    Are these going to apply to United States citizens?

    Are these going to apply to people operating in the US?

    Are the info-soldiers within the US?

    Are these going to be subject to constitutional limitations?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Are you karma whoring from within the US?
    • Are the info-soldiers within the US?

      Mom: Son, why are you sitting at your computer dressed in camo?

      Son: Because I'm hacking into Al-Iraqui-Pr0n and the Geneva Convention states that soldiers who aren't in uniform can be shot as spys."

    • Nah...we outsourced it to India.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:15AM (#5249790) Homepage
      Are these going to apply to United States citizens?

      Are these going to apply to people operating in the US?

      Are the info-soldiers within the US?

      Are these going to be subject to constitutional limitations?

      Are they taking resumes?

    • by IPFreely ( 47576 ) <> on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:20AM (#5249822) Homepage Journal
      With Bush and co writing it, it will probably work a lot like this:

      1. We (the Bush administration) can do anything we want to anyone else.
      2. Noone can not do anything at all to us (the Bush administration).
      3. Americans, including American companies, can do anything they want to any foreign country, company or person.
      4. No foreign country, company or person can do anything to any american person or company.

      There, that sounds about right.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:26AM (#5249856)

        man i loev reeding palitical nanalysus liek thsi,., YA D000D! BSuH si scarey becase he take all our sival LBIERTY's away. i cnat evan critasiez teh govarmant anymoare....

      • I don't know what is more disheartening, the fact that this was the best excuse for political debate you could come up with that or the fact that people are actually modding it up as "Insightful".

        Saddam is _not_ going to disarm peacefully. All the UN circus acts and smoke shows are not going to change that fact. We (US and the coalition of 20+ countries that support us) _are_ going to war. Irregardless of whether or not you and I agree over that course of action, you have to agree that _any_ nonviolent attacks (CYBER) that will shut down radar installtions and missile batteries, or otherwise protect our soldiers lives has merit.

        President Bush is being responsible in the fact that he recognizes that if we are to engage in a new form of warfare, we should first draw up the rules of engagement.

        I never cease to be amazed at the overwhelmingly liberal bias on this website. Especially considering all the great things for technology like the DMCA that President Clinton did for us.

        I welcome intelligent, thought-out political debate, the freedom of speech to do that that is what make America great. People posting nonsensical, sophmorish rubbish like this and getting modded up as "Insightful" is what makes Slashdot so sad. I will probably get modded as a troll or flamebait....guess that's life
        • I'll bite. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by IPFreely ( 47576 ) <> on Friday February 07, 2003 @12:19PM (#5250761) Homepage Journal
          I wasn't talking about war, the democrats, the DMCA, Iraq or any of that other stuff. But since YOU brought it up....

          Saddam is _not_ going to disarm peacefully.

          Agreed. That's not my question. My question is: So what? Why is this a reason to start a war?
          Some claim that if an "appropriate authority" have made a "solid legal demand" for information and action, and that demand is ignored or rebuffed, then it is an appropriate excuse to "immediately remove by force" the person who failed to obey orders (with "UN", "Disarm Iraq" and "War" being the three example fillers). I happen to believe that there should be some more levels of negotiation in between failure to comply and ALL OUT WAR. However, if you like that attitude, how about if we reword that with "appropriate authority" being "US Congress" and "solid legal demand" being a request for VP DC to turn over information about his energy policy meetings, and HE OUTRIGHT REFUSED! Is that a sufficient reason to "immediately remove by force" Mr. DC? Apparently not. Hypocracy is so ugly.

          Bush talks like Iraq is ready to jump out and take over the world unless we stop him. Go look at what really happened. Iraq attacked in 1990. UN responded. Iraq Defeated. Iraq withdraws. Iraq hasn't peeped outside their borders since 1991. CIA rates Iraq as non-threat unless attacked first. So what does Bush do? He makes a lot of noise. He claims Iraq is about to attack everyone. He says he's going to attack them first. He CREATES the threat situation where there was none before. Sure, Iraq wasn't disarming, but they weren't trying to start a war either. Of all the tin-pot dictators in the world, Saddam knows from personal experience exactly what will happen to him if he does. He may be a mad man, but he isn't stupid. He wants weapons to maintain power inside Iraq, not outside.

          Now because of Bush's "Heroic, No non-since, Take control, Total domination threats", we have North Korea, a REAL international threat, breathing down our necks. What is "our hero" George doing about them? NOTHING! I guess he wanted an easy target for his "Pet Project" war, not a "real enemy" that he might actually have to negotiate with. You can't look all powerfull and right if you have to negotiate. Bad for the "Hero" image.

          I can't say what the appropriate action is from now forward. Maybe war is the only out. Bush is claiming he can't back down now. It would look weak. But I think it was REALLY BAD to intentionally put us into this situation in the first place. WAR KILLS PEOPLE. The best way to save American lives is NOT TO GO TO WAR IN THE FIRST PLACE. Why was Bush so desperate to start one where it wasn't necessary? Obviously not to save lives. Probably it was to distract us from all the bad economic news, or maybe to avenge Daddy's image. Great idea. Economy in a slump, severe deficit. So lets make it worse by inventing an expensive war, runnin up the deficit even more and strangling the economy to death.

          Forking Stupid Arrogant Idiot.

        • Saddam is _not_ going to disarm peacefully. All the UN circus acts and smoke shows are not going to change that fact. We (US and the coalition of 20+ countries that support us) _are_ going to war. Irregardless of whether or not you and I agree over that course of action, you have to agree that _any_ nonviolent attacks (CYBER) that will shut down radar installtions and missile batteries, or otherwise protect our soldiers lives has merit.

          I never cease to be amazed at how people in US firmly believe in the propaganda from official media outlets. They don't have immunity for it and they will learn it in the hard way as we did. Anyway.

          Forget human rights crap. US never cared about them when it was against their interests.

          Proven amounts of oil are shrinking everywhere in the world except Iraq and Saudi and these countries will account for 50% of world oil reserves during nearest decades. It's well-known fact, but you ignore obvious facts.

          • First, US worked hard to lure Iraq into attacking Kuwait. Note that everything started when Kuwait started draining neighbor Iraq fields and US signalled that Iraq can handle that situation (they were loosing serious money) with military force. The rest is known, but note that previously independed Kuwait is now US colony after war. If you want to force them to do something, you can order US troops who can swiftly deal with stubborn official and his loyal forces. Today we ignore that fact that US occupied Kuwait, turned it into the colony that can't have its own will and now Kuwait is under almost direct US rule. If things get tough Kuwaits oil will go directly to US at no cost except troops upkeep.
          • But at that time it was impossible to invade Iraq because UN won't allow it. Now they are used to US driving its forces arond the globe, kurds are prepared for rebellion and US can split Iraq, taking oil fields and leave everything else to afghan-like chaos.
          • Then comes Saudi. Remember that most terrorists at 9/11 were Saudis? It will take some heavy propaganda, but their country will be invaded by US soon -- may be 10 or 20 years.
          • Then... as oil production becomes too energy consuming to be profitable humanity will have to find alternative energy source. The only one alternative viable power source is nuclear and US can't allow other countries rely on it because once it becomes common energy source you won't be able to control ALL reactors and other countries will start getting nuclear arms and thus immune to things that are going in Iraq (some lousy rockets without much brains but with simple nuclear charges will wipe all your carriers and bases and no sane neighbor country will allow you to build bases anymore on their territory and let carriers visit their waters). Thus whole world crisis is needed where other countries will suffer enough to be unable to build nuclear plants. Remaining plants could be bombed as Israeli did with Iraq plant, that's why such huge money are dumped into stealth bombers.
          • When oil supply start going down humanity will have "methane pause", there are a lot of methane available (but not much), and currently about 93% of methane fields are in Russia. That's why I will go and vote even for communists or facists if they support upkeeping serious amounts of nuclear weapons able to wipe US. It's the only way to keep US at the bay, because as soon as they feel able to shoot down most our missiles and withstand nuclear blasts from these who come through new missle shield they WILL attack. Eh? You start saying something about human rights? Well, when Khasavurt accord established slavery regime in Chechnya with US help HALF OF MILLION russians were expelled, many thousands were killed. This fact got ZERO attention in US. Compare that with chechen refugees who got featured everywhere. Compare that with expelled Albanians (most of whom were in Kosovo because they sneaked there some decades before) -- they were useful. That's why I will support government that cares about MY nation and not abstract "human rights" which get bent at US will.
          We as human race have to assemble and disarm US before they bring down civilisation.

          Well, I exaggregated a little. But this is where real interests lie. Governments may be different, be it "democracy", dictatorship, republic or something else, but geopolitical interests remains the same, no matter who acts as face of the country. It even doesn't matter what he says. Look who gets the profit.

  • Is this a license for all hackers to DDoS the crap out of Iraqi websites, etc? If so, I hope the military sponsors a contest to see who can bring down some network first... that'd be cool.
  • Setting Precedents (Score:5, Interesting)

    by calib0r ( 546092 ) <backpacker AT hikers DOT net> on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:36AM (#5249547) Homepage
    I wonder what kind of precedent this will set for people charged with "cyber-terrorism". If online warfare becomes a standard part of military procedure, will people being charged with computer crimes get harsher punishments than now, the same, or will some amount of leniency be granted. This thought sounds right to me right now, but I've been up for 78 hours straight. :)
    • by tekunokurato ( 531385 ) <> on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:51AM (#5249647) Homepage
      Military is allowed to kill people
      Normal population: not

      Military possesses weapons of mass destruction, nukes, high-powered automatic weapons
      Normal population: not

      Pentagon can bug and surveil
      Normal population: not

      I don't see any reason why this should affect civilian policy. Pretty much anything goes for the military, and it hasn't traditionally affected the civilian laws.

      Go to sleep, my friend
      • by iiioxx ( 610652 ) <> on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:10AM (#5249748)
        I don't see any reason why this should affect civilian policy. Pretty much anything goes for the military, and it hasn't traditionally affected the civilian laws.

        I think the point he was making was whether or not acts of "cyber-terrorism" (ie cracking networks/systems) might be considered in the future to be "acts of war". Case in point with the issue of American citizens currently being classified as "enemy combatants" due to their connections with terrorist organizations and being stripped of their Constitutional rights (right to counsel, right to a trial by jury, right to disclosure of evidence against them, etc).

        The question isn't, "will ordinary people be sanctioned to hack the networks of enemy nations," but "will a 15 year old sociopath who hacks the RIAA website be classified as an 'enemy combatant' and charged with treason (an offense that can carry the death penalty)."

        I for one think that it's a valid point to raise.
    • > will people being charged with computer crimes get harsher punishments than now, the same, or will some amount of leniency be granted...

      I don't know maybe that's the motive; I can't see why and how the president made the order, but here's what I think.

      I don't ask whether President Bush truly believes that Iraq is a great threat to the world or he wants the world to believe that Iraq is a great threat to the world, but making this type of presumption, Iraq can become a great threat in the cyberspace seems like that the president is taking the matter a little too far. The only adjective that I can think of to describe the action is "ridiculous".

      I don't know who's lobbying in Washington to make this happen, but, I say it again, the president, the White House, Washington, is taking the matter too far. I don't say that the internet is absolutely harmless. There are pedophiles, there are thieves, and yes, there are cyber crimes, but the cyberspace, our truly democratic space, our last resort, is harmful? Harmful like chemical weapons are harmful? Does it a pose such a great threat as nuclear weapons? Are they serious?
      • Going too far? NOT (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bingo Foo ( 179380 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:21AM (#5249829)
        Iraq uses computers for communication and organizational infrastructure. If we have access, and the ability to disrupt this, pursuing it is not "going too far." Is it going too far to drop leaflet bombs encouraging defection and surrender? To fund rebel groups? Or are we only allowed to roll tanks and run with rifles? Remember that the goal of warfare is to change your opponent to become no longer your opponent. There are many ways to do this.

        "Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces; the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field; and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities."
        --Sun Tzu

  • Quite remarkable (Score:4, Informative)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:37AM (#5249554) Journal
    It seems that the defense against a cyber attack is really quite simple. Disconnect your essential computer systems from the internet. Spend a bit of money on the infrastructure for a closed network if neccesary.

    Even if networs are essential to the running of an organisation, there are protocols that will make a cyber attack ineffective. For example, rfc1149 [], and rfc2549 []. These will be adequate for a large number of systems.
    • > It seems that the defense against a cyber attack
      > is really quite simple. Disconnect your essential
      > computer systems from the internet

      That's like saying "to protect themselves from jamming all they have to do is turn off their radios in the middle of the battle".

      If a communications channel is disrupted, the target of the attack has been weakened.
    • Re:Quite remarkable (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pythorlh ( 236755 ) < minus berry> on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:58AM (#5250072) Journal
      Who says that a "cyber" attack has to utilize the public Internet? All you need is one SEAL team with a geek on board, and your "closed" network is as open as you want it. Given that the US has already admitted to having "Special Forces" on the ground in Iraq, and have proven that they have tapped Iraqi military communications, what makes you think that they haven't already compromised any supposedly "closed" computer networks?
    • by Alsee ( 515537 )
      The cyber engagement directive requires that every RFC be analized and plan of attack be implemented whenever possible. RFC1149 and RFC2549 have been assigned to the Airforce. They have been directed to devise plans of attack, to create the infrastructure to carry out those attacks, and to provide the necessary training to carry out those attacks.

      Three distinct modes of attacks on RFC1149 have been identified.
      (1) DDOS attack - This attack relies on massive numbers of operatives to overwhelm the enemy's network capacity. It is the least sophisticated and simplest to deploy. Operatives only require a minimal level of training.
      (2) Hunter/Killer attack - This attack relies on exceptionally skilled operatives to identify and neutralize vunerable targets within the enemy's communication infrastructure. This program has been assigned to our Special Forces unit - only the most talented and leathal operatives can handle these missions.
      (3) Infiltration attack - This attack relies on operatives with exceptional levels of intelligence and training to infiltrate the enemy network. This plan of attack is the most difficult and the most rewarding. Not only does it allow us to intercept enemy communications, it gives us the ability to inject false orders into their command and control structure. This program has been assigned to our Covert Ops division. The program commander has complained of an inability to aquire operatives with the necessary intellegence to complete the required training program.

      Methods of attack on RFC2549 are still under review. The most direct mode of attack appears to be to inject higher priority packets into the enemy network. Unfortunately we belive that simply injecting Concorde class packets into countries such as Iraq may arouse suspicion.

  • Connection (Score:5, Funny)

    by lastberserker ( 465707 ) <babanov@ear t h l> on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:37AM (#5249557) Homepage Journal
    Hope they won't forget to connect Iraqi to the Net before proceeding with that cyber affair ~:-)
  • Dubious quote (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wayn3 ( 147985 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:37AM (#5249559)
    There also is an issue, frankly, that's similar to the strategic nuclear issue which is: Do you ever want to do it? Do you want to legitimize that kind of weaponry?" Clarke added.

    Come on -- there's a big difference between cyber attacks and nuclear attacks -- body count, for one.

    Quite frankly, shutting down the ISP of your enemy (seizing? bombing?) would be cheaper and faster than cyberattacks.
    • Re:Dubious quote (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:51AM (#5249646) Homepage Journal
      In that kind of "combat", US is far more vulnerable than Iraq. You don't need a big arsenal or a massive army to do big damage, think that a worm like Slammer or worse could be deployed from a cybercafe in any part of the world. Legitimating this could open the door for anyone that have anything against US or any other country.

      Quite frankly, shutting down the ISP of your enemy (seizing? bombing?) would be cheaper and faster than cyberattacks.

      Breaking inside critical computers and networks that are connected to internet could be more effective,... retrieving, modifying and destroying information could be more harmful than simply deny access from internet to it.

  • by shoppa ( 464619 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:37AM (#5249560)
    OK, Iraq clearly isn't Afghanistan, in that it does have *some* infrastructure. Power lines, phone lines, etc. But none of it is on the 'net; what's a guy sitting in a chair gonna do?

    This isn't quite as funny as the Kremvax April fool's joke [], because it isn't nearly as plausible.

    • They will drop the guys in chairs onto power substations, etc. Like the conductive chaff used before, but cheaper, and with the advantage of creating more IT jobs back home.
  • Similar to strategic doctrine that has guided the use of nuclear weapons since World War II, the cyber-warfare guidance would establish the rules under which the United States would penetrate and disrupt foreign computer systems.

    Until Bush, wasn't the doctrine on nuclear weapons since Eisenhowers time: "We won't use them first?"

    And how exactly do you secure systems, if all you need to make them malfunction is destroying a TCPA-Mainserver?

    • It was quite some time before any Bush was in office that our nuclear policy was to reserve to use nuclear weapons whenever we deemed necessary.

      No first use was for chemical weapons.
    • by Doctor Hu ( 628508 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:18AM (#5249809)
      Until Bush, wasn't the doctrine on nuclear weapons since Eisenhowers time: "We won't use them first?"
      Er, no.

      During the years of the Cold War, when the Soviet Block conventional forces facing western Europe were many times larger than NATO's the doctrine was much closer to "we give no guarantees that we won't use them first". Although deterrence would have failed if nukes had been used, for the doctrine to remain credible it was necessary for the Soviets to be uncertain that they could safely cross the 'trip wire' and roll over w. europe without provoking a nuclear response. Sure, it was a MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) way to run a planet.

      Doctor Hu, who remembers being very scared at the time of the Cuban missile crisis.

  • by DreddUK ( 255582 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:38AM (#5249565) Homepage
    So now the only thing smart about Bush are his bombs?

    Shame we can't send him one up....
  • One question: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by autocracy ( 192714 ) <[moc.omemniyrots] [ta] [7002todhsals]> on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:38AM (#5249568) Homepage
    Civilian involvement? Letters of marque and reprisal have been banned by international treaty, but those traditionally apply to physical battle. Will the script kiddies rain on Iraq?
    • Re:One question: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by autocracy ( 192714 ) <[moc.omemniyrots] [ta] [7002todhsals]> on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:47AM (#5249625) Homepage
      Actually, I'd like to clarify this a bit: letters of marque and reprisal are noted in the Constitution saying the government may issue them. This [] article references them and explains things decently enough. Unknown to the author's article, the Declaration of Paris [] was signed by the United States, and in short nullifies our ability to issues letters of marque and reprisal. However, this was all in reference to maritime war law... nothing was noted that could be construed to offer protection, except perhaps against civilian networks.
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:39AM (#5249574) Homepage Journal
    Please, don't give iraquis mail addresses to all spammers around the world, that will hurt them badly, but will be very cruel.
  • Hey??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bendebecker ( 633126 )
    Why stop at just having the military conducting these attacks? I am sure there are vast numbers of us on the Internet that would be perfectly willing to sacrifice our time and bandwidth on DDoS attacks against every box in Iraq. There are certainly plenty of us that would be more than happy to hack into Saddam's computer networks. As Americans, we should all be allowed to do our part.
  • One can only hope (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blindcoder ( 606653 )
    that this "Elite Hacker Force" will be shut down after Bush is done with his war.

    But somehow I can't believe that. After all it's quite a useful "tool" for making a point when talking with Ambassadors from foreign countries...
  • by PFactor ( 135319 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:40AM (#5249582) Journal
    They have what, a dozen computers?

    Unless we have to attack Microsoft (and the day is coming, I promise you!), this order isn't really all that useful.
  • by LordYUK ( 552359 ) <> on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:42AM (#5249594)
    From todays post... I take no credit, other than shameless cut and paste!

    Operation: Winnuke

    Operational Plan: One of the most vulnerable areas of Iraq is its weak technological infrastructure. Still largely in a state of disorder from the constant US and British bombing campaign against Iraqi communications centers, the Iraqi computer network is vulnerable to attack. One US plan calls for a multi-phase operation conducted largely within the framework of the recently unveiled International Community Messenger. This computer system allows world leaders to communicate one-on-one over the Internet. Phase one of the operation will involve a coordinated effort by George W. Bush to get all of the world leaders supporting a war against Iraq online at the same time. He will tell them all to start innocuous conversations with Iraq and that when they see the warning level of Iraq rising on their contact list they are to begin warning Iraq until the nation is logged out of the Messenger service. If executed properly phase one will prevent Iraq from rallying sympathetic nations to its cause after phase two has struck.

    Phase two will begin with the United States beginning a conversation with Iraq over trivial things. At some point during the conversation the US will send Iraq a seemingly harmless video file that actually contains an annoying virus script that will deadlock the Iraqi computer system, making it both difficult and embarrassing to use. As mentioned, before Iraq can retaliate or request aid allies of the United States will warn Iraq until it is temporarily banned from the service. To help you better understand how this operation will go down we have modeled it using advanced computer technology called "Microsoft Notepad".

    US_of_A[NATO] Hey d00d, what's up?
    _+Iraq[AoE]+_ not 2 much fag
    _+Iraq[AoE]+_ u got the UN resolution u want me to sign lol
    US_of_A[NATO] yeah man, check this out 1st, it's a krad video of this crazy Koreen kids dancing
    US_of_A[NATO] wants to send you the file Dance_Routine(Funny!).wmv.vbs.
    _+Iraq[AoE]+_ ok its downloadin
    US_of_A[NATO] cool when its done run it
    _+Iraq[AoE]+_ ok
    _+Iraq[AoE]+_ WTF its opening gay pron popups
    US_of_A[NATO] pwned
    You have warned the user US_of_A[NATO]
    You have been warned by the user US_of_A[NATO] Warning Level is 10%
    You have been warned by the user UK[NATO] Warning Level is 25%
    You have been warned by the user Spizzain[NATO] Warning Level is 50%
    You have been warned by the user iTaLy[NATO] Warning Level is 75%
    You have been warned by the user Canada[420TreesHitter][NATO] Warning Level is 100%
    ***You are being temporarily logged out of International Community Messenger***

    After this Iraq's computer and communication infrastructure will be isolated from the world community and Iraq will be vulnerable to further offensive operations.

    Possible Threats: North Korea is constantly online and attempting to send the United States viruses through ICM. Technical specialists are usually able to persuade to the president not to open "Sexyjapaneselass_Vs_Playboy.scr". However, President Bush has already infected some 400 government computers with various e-mail and ICM viruses, and if alone may do so again. In the right North Korean hands this could compromise the security of the entire operation.

    Estimated Casualties: Pretty much everyone in Iraq's tech-sector is expected to be summarily executed by Saddam if this plan works. Other than that no casualties are expected.

  • From the article:
    By penetrating computer systems that control the communications, transportation, energy and other basic services in a country, cyber-weapons can have serious cascading effects, disrupting not only military operations but civilian life.
    Okay, you're assuming that other less-developed countries have the same computer infrastructure that we do. What's next? We distrupt the one working computer in Somalia?

    The only countries this will work against are those that are like the US, and sorry, but despite our ethnocentric view of the world, most countries are not us except Canada and the UK (didn't turning on one's allies work for Hitler?).

    This idea is not new. When the military staged a wargame where they tried this very same thing, they got their arse handed to them in a brown paper sack []:

    The officers refereeing the wargame told him that U.S. electronic warfare planes had zapped his microwave communications systems. "You're going to have to use cellphones and satellite phones now, they told me. I said no, no, no - we're going to use motorcycle messengers and make announcements from the mosques," [Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper, who played the role of Saddam Hussein] says. "But they refused to accept that we'd do anything they wouldn't do in the west.
    • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:15AM (#5249791) Journal
      Most countries have electronic switching systems and microwave links for the phone service. Those were targets that NATO hit in Serbia several years ago, and in Iraq in 1991. Even Afghanistan had some. Russia uses microwave links. China also. Actually, it's probably only countries like Somalia, which have almost no communications infrastructure, that wouldn't be vulnerable.
      • I think you missed the point... When the Microwave links were DESTROYED by bombing, the team representing Iraq was expected to use cell phones instead (which would be intercepted). But after the microwave links were destroyed, they used low tech methods, like motorcycle couriers. The Team representing the US forces lost the wargame, for this and other reasons.

        Kinda reminds me of the simpsons episodes where the air force had to intercept the wright brother's plane, but couldn't because it was moving too slow. The US has spent the last half a century preparing for a war against a technologically advanced superpower, they are totally unprepared for fighting against WWI level tech.

    • From [],

      Eventually, Van Riper got so fed up with all this cheating that he refused to play anymore.

      Notice how the two [] credits [] are both British? The whole article lacks a, uh, how should I say, sense of authenticity. Maybe an interesting read, but so was this [].

      Lieutenant General Van Riper (read: LtGen = O-9, second highest rank he can attain = he knows how to make himself look good + actually does) "refused to play" ? Please. By refusing to play, especially in the army, he's risking not only his career, but his retirement (and at LtGen, he's almost certainly gotten his 20 years in), prison (especially if its as high scale and high profile of an exercise as this article makes it seem) and eventually a dishonorable discharge that'd make it hard for him to get another job anywhere.

      It's ridiculous to think that Iraq could win a war against the US. In the first 12 hours of the Gulf War, Iraq's chances of winning were gone. In 10 years, things have changed, but not that much. Iraq does potentially have the ability to hurt us (through casualties, if hey have any of these weapons of mass destruction we've heard so much about), but other than that, what do you think they could do? They can't even fly planes in the southern half of their country, let alone far enough to do anything to 1) a US military base, or even 2) one of the regional bases US forces are using.

      That said, it'd be nice if something happened to prevent a war altogether.

  • paah (Score:3, Funny)

    by zozzi ( 576178 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:48AM (#5249628)
    Just get Kevin and give him a prison phone. He'll do everything from it. His mouth will even function like a modem traslating all those ones and zeros....

  • by Doctor Hu ( 628508 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:48AM (#5249629)
    Is it just me, or is what used to be called the military-industrial complex's lobbeying for funds to persue 'cool' research areas undermining the country's ability to make appropriate military responses to novel threats? Here we are, less than 18 months after the carefully low-tech attacks of 9/11, busy working on all sorts of neat cyberwar and domestic datamining tools that aren't going to matter a toss to a bunch of fanatics holed up in a cave somewhere, or even to an economy like Iraq's that's already been largely put back to early 20th-century levels.

    Not trolling, just worried.

  • With the army's recent foray into the video game biz, do you think we'll se a "video game" that's purpose is to hack into Iraq? Of course, whether or not the video game is a simulation or not is anyone's guess.

  • Iraq is running Linux!
  • Just think of all the mp3s and movies we can legally download from top secret Iraqi sites!
  • by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:01AM (#5249690)
    Overheard in the Oval Office:

    Bush: Hey, I've just had a great idea! Why don't we attack Iraq over the Inter-net!

    Advisor: I'm not sure what you mean, Mr President.

    Bush: Well, couldn't we infect Saddam with one of those Inter-net viruses, for example? We could use our prowess in genetical engineering and nanu-technology to genetically infect Saddam with a deadly Inter-net virus! Whaddya think?

    Advisor: Erm... I'm speechless, Sir.

    Bush: Write some guidelines around those ideas, will ya?

    Advisor: Very well sir. Do you mind if I make some minor modifications, sir?

    Bush: Do whatever you think is necessary. We make a great team don't we?

    Bush: Erm, yes sir. Isn't it about time for your nap now Mr President?

  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:06AM (#5249722) Homepage
    So... the first step in our war is to send the Geek Corps to Iraq to teach everyone how to use computers. Then we sick SUN on them to convince them to upgrade to mission-critical workstations and servers. While we do that, we use old equipment to get individuals and businesses stuck on the .doc format. Finally, we convince Saddam to consolidate his technological resources under XP, .NET, and Office.

    At which point, why do we have to invade at all? Microsoft can just run their government like they do ours.
  • by Badgerman ( 19207 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:07AM (#5249725)
    Something like this is inevitable, really. I'm sort of surprised it didn't come up a few years ago.

    However, there are other questions this brings up:
    • What are the cyber-warfare plans of OTHER countries? Is America in the lead on getting organized on this?
    • What will the reaction be to this plan?
    • Computer technology involves at such an insane rate, how much planning can you do?
    • Will this plan involve current computer companies?
    • Where will Open Source fit into this? (I'm serious here, OS's growing prominence makes it important)

    Food for thought.
    • What are the cyber-warfare plans of OTHER countries? Is America in the lead on getting organized on this?

      I just happened to spend time last week at a talk given by an Army Intelligence officer (keep in mind that the Army does about the least amount of high-tech crap of any of the armed forces).

      Basically, there's only one country with major cyberwarfare plans, and it's China. China maintains a standing segment of its army trained specifically in cyberwarfare, and actively conducts research in it. We have far fewer resources in this than China does.
  • So can we now expect accidental hacking of the Chinese embassy, Canadian soldiers, and the occasional civilian wedding to occur in conjunction with the more traditional (but increasingly obsolete) accidental smart bombing?
  • by ceeam ( 39911 )
    Do you guys want to defeat Sadam in CounterStrike or what?
  • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:10AM (#5249750) Homepage Journal

    I can just see the latest edition of "Soldier of Fortune" with advertisements in the back for "733t h4Xor5" to DDOS the 8 servers that comprise the Iraqi Ministry of Disinformation.

    They'll probably have a lurid cover photo showing "actual damage done" to such a server.

    "Eeewww - look at the smoking wires just hanging out of the CD drive bay!"

  • by Anonymous Coward
    right after the Iraqis invaded kuwait in 90, the US got a french company that was supplying printers to Iraq to put a chip in that we supplied. The chip had a receiver that basically allowed us to remotely take out their networks using the printers attached to it.
  • by MavEtJu ( 241979 ) <slashdot@[ ] ['mav' in gap]> on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:23AM (#5249843) Homepage
    "The pending Iraqi war promises to deliver quite the display of modern, smart technology well beyond what we saw in '91." ... "the US will use soldiers in office chairs to disrupt Iraqi infrastructure."

    Will give a great footage on CNN:
    As you see on this graph, this was the traffic to their webservers in the last month. Now check this peak when we started to probe it and after that the constant block of traffic towards it.
    And check the BGP statistics, since three days their routing-entries have disappeared!

  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:28AM (#5249869) Journal
    The primary one being that cyberwar automatically equals, and is limited to, the internet. Many systems are networked, and/or acessible from outside, without being on the internet.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:39AM (#5249946)
    If you attend US military conferences, you know that they're quite proud of their CND (computer network defence) ability, but refuse to comment on their CNA (computer network attack) capability. That's partly because they had no RoE.

    In fact, some other industrialized nations are pushing for CNA to be considered a weapon of mass destruction, since the effects of most viruses and DDoSes can't be predicted until they're launched (your attack on a power plant takes out a hospital...and another...and another).

    As for Iraq's dependence on the 'net, don't think about SAM batteries with IP addresses. Think about Info Ops. Think Wag the Dog. Think about pro-Iraqi websites suddenly "reporting" US victories. Or US sites suddenly being "attacked", giving the FBI justification to round up those Iraqi-Americans on its watch list.

    Far-fetched? Right about the time that the latest Osama video was being "authenticated", a senior US officer was bragging to me about how advanced their video morphing technology was getting.

  • great (Score:3, Funny)

    by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:56AM (#5250059)
    US cyber-warfare units will attempt a DDoS attack on the Iraqi infrastructure through Iraq's remaining 56 kbaud AOL dialup connection. That will surely be successful.
  • by no-body ( 127863 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @11:13AM (#5250177)
    Do I see right?

    The pending Iraqi war promises to deliver...quite a display

    It seem to have escaped you that there are humans getting killed by this "firework". They have family, brothers, sisters, friends. Ever wondered, how one becomes a terrorist?

    "It's really not a number I'm terribly interested in." --General Colin Powell [When asked about the number of Iraqi people who were slaughtered by Americans in the 1991 "Desert Storm" terror campaign (200,000 people!)]

  • Good for opensource (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tyreth ( 523822 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @11:28AM (#5250293)
    For other countries who fear a US attack, this could be a great reason for them to pursue open source software. There is more chance of them identifying flaws so long as they keep their machines up to date.

    They can fix problems quickly. They will not rely on the software of the country attacking them.

  • by ubiquitin ( 28396 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @11:50AM (#5250486) Homepage Journal

    HTML "programmers": enlisted privates
    RedHat certified: USArmy officer
    ten years Unix sysadmin: noncommissioned sargeant
    open source project leads: USArmy captain through colonel
    Linux kernel maintainers: USArmy four star general
    Cisco cert: USMC
    FreeBSD sysadmins: Delta Force
    OpenBSD sysadmins: Airborne Rangers
    Oracle DBA's: Navy captains
    MCSE: cannon fodder
    MCSE who didn't patch SQLServer: dishonorable discharge

    Hell, if I get to spend time on the firing range with some MCSE's, sign me up. See real USArmy rank hierarchy here. []
  • by Hypharse ( 633766 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @11:58AM (#5250558)
    I am not a big fan of the republican government we have. Everyone knows about that "Home Security Bill" they passed that contained privacy intrusions that would never have passed on their own. How are we to know that this is not just another excuse to give the government power to invade our privacy even more?

    Bush seems to have an "at all costs" attitude which even includes freedom.

  • by sherpajohn ( 113531 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @12:32PM (#5250889) Homepage
    All these .WAR files I work with....makes me wonder. Web-ARchive they say, yeah right!
  • by inteller ( 599544 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @12:45PM (#5250994)
    We'll be able to shut down their 2 ATMs and reboot all of those illegally imported PS2s....that should crush them.
  • by iLEZ ( 594245 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @01:10PM (#5251278) Homepage
    Not my intention to be troll here, but i quote:

    "the Pentagon has stepped up development of cyber-weapons, envisioning a day when electrons might substitute for bombs and allow for more rapid and less bloody attacks on enemy targets."

    Hacking to shut down radars and power from thousands of miles away can have no other cause than to support an aerial assault, and aerial assaults are never bloodless. They just want to cripple people so they cannot strike back. Maybe we should redefine the terms "blood" and "human beings" to fit the United States wardance more correctly. Schools and hospitals without power can only turn people more against US.
    Fighting for peace is like fuxxing for virginity.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll