Snake in the Machine

It’s easier to deliver a cyber attack than it is to build and deploy a kinetic weapon system, says Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. This has helped crime syndicates leverage power and will likely open the cyber domain to threatening non-state organizations, he writes in a new CSBA study on cyberwarfare. For instance, the Russian government “turns a blind eye” to the Russian business network, which is known to be the world’s foremost cyber-crime organization, states the study, released on Aug. 24. The RBN was accused of facilitating the cyber attacks on Estonia in 2007 and Georgia in 2008 at the Russian government’s request, according to the study. Terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda potentially pose a major cyber threat as well, asserts Krepinevich. Computers and manuals seized in al Qaeda camps held information pertinent to dams and other critical infrastructure, he states. “One could imagine other non-state entities whose capabilities—both in terms of intellectual and financial resources—are likely to be far greater than those of al Qaeda,” says Krepinevich. (See also Cybergeddon? Not Quite.) (CSBA release) (CSBA cyber study; caution, large-sized file.)