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Cyberattacks shut down Estonia

I’ve been following this fascinating story for a few weeks now. It started when Estonian authorities began removing a bronze statue of a World War II-era Soviet soldier from a park in Tallinn, Estonia. The removal sparked violent protests from Estonians of Russian descent as was to be expected. What was unexpected was what the NY Times — in the article entitled, “Digital Fears Emerge After Data Siege in Estonia” — and others have called the “first war in cyberspace.” The country was beseiged by a flood of distributed denial-of-service attacks on the country’s digital infrastructure, “clogging the Web sites of the president, the prime minister, Parliament and other government agencies, staggering Estonia’s biggest bank and overwhelming the sites of several daily newspapers.” The cyber-attacks went on for several weeks.

The story was also slashdotted.

The 10 largest assaults blasted streams of 90 megabits of data a second at Estonia’s networks, lasting up to 10 hours each. That is a data load equivalent to downloading the entire Windows XP operating system every six seconds for 10 hours.

What is Information Warfare?

Communications during war is vital to military operations, and information, or lack of it, can make or break a battle.

Information Warfare (IW), also known as cyberwar, cyber attack, and cyberterrorism, is a form of modern warfare in which information and media become instruments of war.

As of 13 Jan 06 JP 3-13, the Joint Doctrine for Information Operations removed the term information warfare and replaced it with the more civilized concept of Information Operations (IO).

Likewise, the term has been removed from JP 1-02, the Deparment of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

The U.S. Air Force retains the idea of Information Warfare in AFDD 2-5, Information Operations, with this definition:

Information warfare is information operations conducted to defend one’s own information and information systems or attacking and affecting an adversary’s in-formation and information systems.

Duane McCollum, FGI Blogger of the month for December, 2006, posted an interesting entry on December 1, 2006 about the
Global Information Grid (GIG) and Net Centricity.

The concepts of information warfare and information operations are closely tied to the GIG and to the ultimate goal of Information Assurance (IA).

I have to ponder a moment while I contemplate the level of Information Assurance associated with publications that remove definitions…

    Should a reputable dictionary at the very least indicate that this term is archaic?

    Are any other archaic definitions missing?

    Could this very lack of information be construed as a form of Information Warfare itself?

    As we like to say in library collection development, “let’s keep a copy for historical research.”

Air University’s Air War College, Cyberspace and Information Operations Study Center, publishes an excellent bibliography called Information Operations, Warfare, Info Ops, Infowar, Cyberwar with a section devoted exclusively to information warfare.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I’d suggest you immediately click on thelink to this bibliography and read — just in case any more archaic concepts are removed.