Blog Posts: Pakistan

Sneak Preview: Cyber Attacks and the Beginnings of a Cyber Treaty

The helicopters hummed along the broken Pakistani terrain, their mission accomplished. Osama Bin Laden was dead and the entire SEAL Team Six crew was safe. In three and a half hours the team had entered Pakistani airspace, assaulted the compound in Abbottabad, and returned to Afghanistan, all before the Pakistani government was ever aware of the incursion. The Pakistani air defense never detected the helicopters in its airspace. Some speculated it was this inability to detect U.S. forces that most damaged U.S.-Pakistani relations, more than the actual invasion of Pakistani territory. “Never had the [Pakistani] military, the strongest institution in the country, been so humiliated since it lost three wars to India.” Programmers and hackers stationed at U.S. Cyber Command in Ft. Meade, Maryland, could have contributed to the undetected incursion, using cyber technologies to infiltrate and turn off Pakistan’s air defense system simultaneous to the U.S.’s physical assault.

It would not be the first such cyber attack. In 2007, Israeli bombers flew undetected into Syria, blowing up what was later determined to be a partially completed, North Korean-built nuclear enrichment facility. The bombers flew undetected not due to some new radar-absorbing technology, but because Israel used a complex cyber attack to mask its entry. Israeli programmers manipulated Syria’s air defense so that it would fail to report anything on the radar.


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No Comments | Posted by Stephen A. Moore on Wed. October 30, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: Anonymous, Customary International Law, Cyberwarfare, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan

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