This will be my last blog dealing with information warfare even though I may eventually pick back up and make more information warfare related blogs. I wanted to close with a view about information warfare and dealing with malware attacks like stuxnet. Stuxnet was a malicious program made in secret by the United States. Its main goal was to breech Iranian uranium enrichment plants security in an effort to disrupt the normal operations of the centrifuges. Now that sounds great in preventing other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons but how I see it is that using malware to attack other countries facilities could be a very dangerous game. Stuxnet was not supposed to be made public and for good reasons. The people who made stuxnet were very angry that it was spread around and made public, and this kind of carelessness when making malware to attack adversary’s facilities should not be taken lightly.
First of all, one thing that I have always thought of and fear the most about information warfare since I heard of stuxnet a couple years back is when if a country attacked another countries nuclear power plants. That would be very catastrophic if a country were able to cause a nuclear meltdown of a nuclear power plant with malware. We all know from experience in Chernobyl that a nuclear meltdown can be a very expensive thing to fix and can cause many deaths to civilians. That is my main concern about information warfare. Although information warfare will likely cause fewer deaths due to non-physical means of use, if the right malware were spread into the right facility it could be even more catastrophic than the effects of physical warfare. I hope that the United States and all of their allies work together in an effort to eradicate the world of such malware attacks used for information warfare.
Stuxnet was a marvel in malware and could be one of the most important information warfare lessons that any nation could learn from. While it did complete its objective and disable the Iranian uranium enrichment plants, it also got out into the public. Even though stuxnet getting out into the public did not cause any harm, the lesson learned from that type of malware is tenfold important to nations everywhere. If another stuxnet that was more lethal in the sense that it could attack a very volatile facility causing the deaths of many people were made, even if the objective was completed there could be a chance that it may backfire on the country that created it and cause a great deal of damage.
Author: John Rowan
I am a Computer Science major at West Chester University and I love everything to do with computers. My specialty is Android programming but I actually love to code in any language specifically learning new things.