Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Time to wake up to cyber threat: experts
by Staff Writers
Tallinn (AFP) June 18, 2010

Iceland safe haven for press freedom: Wikileaks insider
Reykjavik (AFP) June 18, 2010 - Iceland is becoming an offshore safe haven for information, an insider with whistleblower website WikiLeaks said Friday. Iceland's parliament, the Altingi, voted Tuesday to task government with finding ways to increase information freedom and to provide stronger protections for media sources and whistleblowers to make Iceland a leader in freedom of expression. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, or IMMI "aims to create an offshore safe haven for information, to add to transparency," said Kristinn Hrafnsson, an investigative journalist with public broadcaster RUV, who has co-operated with Wikileaks. Even before the passing of the initiative, which was in part drafted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, work on the project had created a secure environment for revealing sensitive information, he told AFP. A controversial WikiLeaks video released in April of a US Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed two employees of the Reuters news agency and a number of other people had, for instance, been edited in Reykjavik, he pointed out.

"At the time, Iceland seemed to be the safest place to prepare for the release of the video and do the necessary fact checks," said Hrafnsson, who took part in the process. WikiLeaks has only said it obtained the video "from a number of military whistleblowers," but the US military last week said it had arrested 22-year-old specialist Bradley Manning for allegedly being the source of the leak. The release of the video was vital to "showing the gruesome reality behind statistics of what the US army calls 'collateral damage'," Hrafnsson said. "It is the most important visual evidence coming out of Iraq since the exposure of the photographs from Abu Ghraib," a jail that has become synonymous with abuse in Iraqi prisons. Manning reportedly also may have leaked other material to WikiLeaks, including separate video of a 2009 air strike in Afghanistan in which many civilians were killed. Wikileaks has not confirmed that Manning is the source of the Baghdad Apache attack video, but Hrafnsson acknowledged the website was preparing the release of the Afghanistan air strike video.

NATO governments and the public must wake up to the threat of cyberattacks, which could paralyse a nation far more easily than conventional warfare, experts warned Friday.

"Cybercrime and cyberespionage are topics that can't be ignored," said Melissa Hathaway, a former US cyber tsar, at a conference in Estonia organised by the trans-Atlantic alliance's IT defence unit.

"Key infrastructure, including power stations, have become vulnerable due to their dependence on Internet connections," Hathaway said.

"There is no national security in the modern world without economic security, and both companies and private citizens should also realise the depth of the problem," she added.

Charlie Miller -- a security expert who launches test assaults on IT systems -- underlined that cyberwar is far easier than a conventional attack.

"It would take two years and cost less than 50 million dollars a year to prepare a cyberattack that could paralyse the United States," Miller warned.

Such an attack could involve fewer than 600 hackers, he added.

Estonia is home to a unit known in NATO jargon as the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Bitter experience taught Estonia -- one of the world's most wired nations and a NATO member since 2004 -- all about cyberattacks.

The Baltic state of 1.3 million people suffered an assault in 2007 that paralysed key business and government web services for days.

It came as Estonian authorities shifted a Soviet-era war memorial from central Tallinn to a cemetery site.

The monument, erected when Moscow took over after World War II, became a flashpoint following independence in 1991 for rallies by Estonia's ethnic-Russian minority.

Estonia blamed Moscow for stoking riots in Tallinn as the memorial was moved, and said the cyberattacks were traced to Russian official servers.

Russia, however, denied involvement.

Despite Estonia's experience, people elsewhere have not woken up, said British defence ministry expert Gloria Craig.

"It's still hard to convince the public that a cyberattack is an attack, when people don't see a smoking gun," Craig said.

"As of now NATO is not prepared for a global cyberattack," she added.

US specialist Bruce Schneier, however, said the current threat should not be overplayed.

"Building tanks does not mean you fear you could be overrun by a military force right now. It pays to build tanks and it pays to prepare for cyberwar, but I don't believe that's a fear we should worry about right now," Schneier said.

"It's very easy to invent scare scenarios but this does not mean we should actually be scared by them," he said.

Schneier said, however, that it time to prepare now so that sci-fi style scenarios never become reality.


Related Links
Cyberwar - Internet Security News - Systems and Policy Issues

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Thai govt mulls buying broadcaster over security fears
Bangkok (AFP) June 14, 2010
Thailand said Monday it was seeking to buy a broadcaster that aired programmes supportive of the opposition "Red Shirts" during weeks of anti-government protests. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said talks over the proposed purchase of Thaicom Plc, part of a telecoms empire founded by fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, were under way with majority owner Temasek Holdings of Singapore. ... read more

Moon Whets Appetite For Water

Water Content Of Moon's Interior Underestimated

Model Helps Search For Moon Dust Fountains

NASA Langley to Break Ground on Hydro Impact Basin

Spirit Catching More Rays

Opportunity Breaks The 13 Mile Mark

Middle-School Project Discovers Cave Skylight On Mars

UK Space Agency Funds International Mars Rover

NASA Deputy Administrator Stresses Importance Of International Cooperation

Orion Spacecraft Takes Shape

There's More Than One String To The Avionics Testing Fiddle

Japan's 'space yacht' starts sailing

China Sends Research Satellite Into Space

China eyes Argentina for space antenna

Seven More For Shenzhou

China Signs Up First Female Astronauts

Russian, US astronauts dock with ISS: official

Russian, US astronauts dock with ISS: official

Three New Expedition 24 Crew Members Dock With ISS

New ISS Crew Members Prepare For Docking

Mission Preparations Move Forward For Next Ariane 5 Mission

Astrium: Prime Contractor For All Phases Of The 51st Ariane 5 Launch

Iridium And SpaceX Sign Major Commercial Launch Contract

Successful Launch Of Swedish Prisma satellites

Kepler Data On Potential Extrasolar Planets Released

CoRoT Unveils A Rich Assortment Of New Exoplanets

Exoplanet Caught On The Move

'Out Of Whack' Planetary System

Medical phone, vibrating earphone shine at trade show

France joins probes into Google Street View

San Francisco passes mobile phone radiation law

Asian technology firms bet on a 3D future

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement