Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Now We Have the Grid Coordinates

While I think we need to be proficient in cyber-warfare, never forget that physical smart bombs will kill the brightest hackers with even the coolest sounding handles.

I've long held that bombs are one response to hackers under certain conditions, as I recently opined:

It is necessary to prepare for war in cyber-space with sophisticated cyber-weapons as have been deployed against Iran. But in the rush to fight in cyber-space, don't forget that a physical smart bomb can simply blow up a room full of enemy cyber-warriors if they have an office park and we know the address.

We know the address:

Unit 61398 of the People's Liberation Army has been recruiting computer experts for at least a decade. It has made no secret of details of community life such as badminton matches and kindergarten, but its apparent purpose became clear only when a U.S. Internet security firm [Mandiant] accused it of conducting a massive hacking campaign against North American targets. ...

Mandiant says it traced scores of cyberattacks on U.S. defense and infrastructure companies to a neighborhood in Shanghai's Pudong district that includes the 12-story building where Unit 61398 is known to be housed. The building has office space for up to 2,000 people. Mandiant estimates the number of personnel in the unit to be anywhere from hundreds to several thousand. The surrounding neighborhood is filled with apartment buildings, tea houses, shops and karaoke bars.

I don't know what the threshold is, but at some point the damage that cyber-war inflicts shouldn't be treated any differently than a physical attack's effect.

It's kind of funny that a diffuse Internet battlefield has an office park that conveniently concentrates their warriors. Bureaucratic habits die hard, no?