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  • An Anonymous War

    Activists in France protest in support of Anonymous and in opposition to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

    Anonymous, the shadowy hactivist group, may have just declared war on the United States. This raises questions: How would we know, and what does this really mean? The always troubling question for cyber-warriors is “attribution”—do you really know whom you are fighting?

    Sorting out evil actors online is difficult, but it can be done. Computer forensics (the science and technology of tracking down malicious online actors) has advanced every bit as much as the enemy’s ability to write new malware. After all, major malicious actors like GhostNet and RBN in the end were uncovered not by governments or intelligence services, but by the investigative efforts of private groups and individuals using modest resources and commercially available software.

    In another example of online attribution, the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, an independent research institute, conducted an analysis of the Russian attacks on Georgia. The U.S.-CCU concluded that the cyber strikes were done by nongovernment entities with the assistance of organized crime and with foreknowledge of the war and encouragement from the Russian government. It constructed all its analysis using caches from websites and Internet service providers (ISPs).

    Cyber forensics, whether performed by governments, netizens, or nongovernmental agencies, is not the only tool available to track down cyber enemies. A range of information-gathering tools, from open source intelligence to old-fashioned spies, can be used to hunt down malicious actors—just like any other threat.

    Anyone declaring war online should never believe that if they do something online they can be assured of getting away with it. If you do something bad, likely as not, serious people—if they seriously come after you—can and will find you.

    Join us on Friday, March 2, from 12 to 1 PM ET for a special event on the future of warfare in our socially networked world. Heritage’s James Carafano will examine the effects of digital communications on national security and diplomac. Click here to watch online.

    Click here to view this post in Spanish at Libertad.org.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to An Anonymous War

    1. Bobbie says:

      I've heard these guys but can't quite figure them out! Some of what is heard is right on the concern of the abusive leadership everybody in the world now recognizes but when they said " we never forgive, we never forget." forgiveness can always be granted to those that face their accountabilities and carry out their punishments. Totally agree with "never forget!"

    2. The US was founded on the idea of "ordered liberty." The anonymous ideology strikes me as a bit totalitarian…they are the judge and jury of what is right and wrong…is that better than a system of ordered liberty where power is derived from a contract with the people..rather than arbitrary self-appointed judge.

      People that wear the "V" mask really miss the point. V opposed a totalitarian regime…not a government owned by its own people.

      In the process of claiming to combat injustice anonymous has become a threat to ordered liberty.

    3. Bobbie says:

      Thank you, James. They aren't for people, freedom or order and I suspect they are less than people pushed by totalitarian, organized and funded, world government leads! There's lots of impressionists in the world to where sincerity is fooled or just nonexistent in many people. And if there was anything good about this regime, they wouldn't be anonymous!! Thank you again, Mr. Carafano! Heritage rules in more ways than one!!!!

    4. Anon says:


    5. same says:

      wrong making people wait…
      it takes coments (against bhork) away… automaticaly…
      ah!, as many sites I will ELIMINATE IF THEY EXIST TO ID AWAY FREE SPEACH.
      so, agravants… or glory?

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