Friday, November 23, 2012

The First Market

You can shop online for your cyber-war needs:

China and especially Russia are taking a lot of low key diplomatic heat over the continued existence of online markets for Internet mercenaries within their borders. These two countries will rarely prosecute whoever is providing hosting services (the actual PCs, or “servers” that the stores and message boards run on) to hackers selling goods (programs for hacking) or services (botnets, hacking attacks, and so on).

Give this trend time and space and eventually private entities and even wealthy individuals will be able to wage war in the real world from their figurative basement:

We speak of online private cyber-warfare (as I did here in regard to what I called cyber-booters), but real warfare requires more than hacking. Where will such refined skills be found?

With so many private security outfits around, how long before they need to drum up business when contracts start to peter out or too many competitors eat at the profit margin?

And so perhaps a need to match potential warmakers with potential war fighters will be met with an online service. Call it warBay. Need a bridge blown up somewhere? Sign on to warBay and choose from local insurgents out to make a profit, renegade pilots from a poor Third World air force willing to drop a bomb for cash, or ex-SAS members who formed a company without current government contracts in need of some money. Or assassinate a leader. Or just kill a bunch of people who are of the designated race or religion. Or hire some special ops types to intercept another group you read on an Internet board are planning to hit your side's headquarters (church or whatever). Freelancers and idiots could hire themselves out like the Shoe Bomber or like Timothy McVeigh to ply their particular skill for money.

Whatever your war needs, there are people out there who can provide the service. More bang for the buck, to turn a phrase. And warBay will be there.

There might be something to this private warfare thing, eh?