Attack MitigationDDoS AttacksSecurity

Geopolitics and Cyber: A New War?

March 17, 2014 — by Carl Herberger1

This week, I was interview by Fox Business on how hacktivism takes center stage when geopolitical tensions rise. (Geopolitical Tensions Invade Cyberspace, March 11, Fox Business)

In the interview, we discussed how groups and actors that are against state-run edicts, policies and the like take to the web to quickly mobilize and then antagonize and disrupt their adversaries. They leverage online outlets such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media properties as their platform to denounce who they’re against and why.

Effective? Somewhat. A group calling itself “CyberBerkut” posted pejorative comments on its Facebook page against “political traitors” and listed a number of websites they were targeting. At the time of this writing, some seem to have fared well against this purported attack with only a few sites appearing to be down.

Will it end? Not anytime soon. As long as there are two opposing forces with different views, you will have this sort of geopolitical/cyber disruption. When the New York Times ran an investigative story in 2012 on the relatives of China’s Prime Minister, the news organization was hacked. And, just last month, the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into in retaliation for editorial content it published on Syria.

These attacks can be considered a new way to wage war. They are relatively low in cost with a zero attrition rate of troops. As the uprising in Syria started to escalate, the Pentagon and NSA developed plans that included cyber-attacks against the Syrian military. This of course, prompted SEA to post several tweets, essentially drawing a line in the sand and threatening with its own attacks.


There is no doubt that opposition in political views have been around since the dawn of time. However, when you mix in the power of the internet – and hold the right recipe for disaster, what you have at your fingertips is a very powerful concoction.

If you’re interested in learning even more about the current state of cyberattacks, I invite you to download the recent report written by our Emergency Response Team here.

Carl Herberger

Carl is an IT security expert and responsible for Radware’s global security practice. With over a decade of experience, he began his career working at the Pentagon evaluating computer security events affecting daily Air Force operations. Carl also managed critical operational intelligence for computer network attack programs to aid the National Security Council and Secretary of the Air Force with policy and budgetary defense. Carl writes about network security strategy, trends, and implementation.

One comment

  • Viji

    March 23, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Missing Boeing 777-200ER probably is the birth of CYBER WAR between China And THE WORLD
    China’s China has designed Mach 10 a Hypersonic glide vehicle ,that can strike targets around the globe moving at the speed of 12,000km per hour and if their Cyber Scientist can make this to glide invisibly can Americas HGV -PROMPT GLOBAL STRIKE BOMB IT OUT OF NAVIGATION ???
    Bonji Ohara, research fellow at the Tokyo Foundation, said that it is “almost impossible” for current missile defense systems to shoot down such a hypersonic object. “It is a revolutionary strategic weapon that could change the strategic balance of the world in the near future,” he said.
    Question .?
    Can Cyber Scientist ,counter strike the technology used ,some software or programme that can paralyse computers or A Code that can jam the computers commands or break codes used by Cyber Hackers aka Cyber Scientist .
    Domesday is at our doorstep , an old Malaysian saying
    When two elephants fight ,all the ants get killed under their feet. And if the two elephants make love
    Because of the weight .
    If the elephants were USA& China or Russia& China or
    Iran& China or India & USA or Australia & KOREA, the rest of the countries around South China Sea and Indian Ocean can consider themselves as ANTS


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