The Fifth Battlefield

This article has some terms about computers and hacking. I added some annotations below this essay. Please see them when you find technical words.

Today, a cyber war makes its big news around the world. Wikileaks, Anonymous, Chinese Blue Army, etc. Cyber attack injures nobody, but it ruins victim’s secret information, money, honor and social credit. This is reason why this way of attack is spreading as fast as speed of light literally. You can invade CIA’s system if you had appropriate skills anywhere, thanks to the Internet. Ironically, mother of the Internet is suffering owing to her baby. Yes, the United States government and private websites are attacked millions times per day.

In the 1980’s, Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc) and Chaos Computer Club (CCC) were established. They are known as the most famous hacker organization in the world because cDc released very effective hacking tool like Back Orifice a lot, and CCC is the largest hacker organization in the world. They were the prologue of hacker organizations. In the 1990’s, the Nuke War broke out in many IRCs (Internet Relay Chat). This was just a trend in the Internet, but was the prologue of cyber war.

However, most of people in the world noticed that cyber war was not a pipe dream in the 2000’s because of Wikileaks. “Collateral murder” video made us shocked, Bradley Manning told us the actual case, the arrest of Julian Assange made us doubtful. Many governments got upset about it; Wikileaks made the Pentagon “classify major cyber attacks as acts of war.” That meant the dawn of cyber war between countries. Now, the battlefield is not only ground, sea, sky and space but also cyberspace. The United States established Cyber Command, China did Blue Army, also Japan, United Kingdom and Korea will do it, too. Many governmental organizations began to attack or defend against cyber attack.

Civil organizations are not inferior to governmental ones. Wikileaks hacked some governments, Anonymous hacked some companies, as you know. Then, the bills called SOPA and PIPA appeared. They regulate online trade in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit products. This seemed to say right, but they could be related to the Internet censorship. Many activists including hasty people protested against these bills, and Anonymous hacked many including FBI, so SOPA and PIPA were “dead.” But there were people saying that “your protest is hypocrisy because you did not pay attention to more serious problems. You protest only because you would like to use free YouTube.” I was among protesters, and I had to protest — because what lets us get information about problems was the Internet. When you would like to know bombings in Gaza, would you ask it Israeli government? At least I would not; I would ask it to inhabitants in Gaza via the Internet.

During anti-SOPA/PIPA protest, I found one article. It said “I’m not sure if SOPA has not passed yet or it passed and the news has been censored.” That was a joke, but I crawled a little. Censorship is very scary because ignorance always gives birth to preconceptions. And preconceptions give birth to violence. Finally, violence give birth to… nothing.

China, the largest country which loves censorship in the world, would fall without it. Its oppression in Tibet is so terrible that some Tibetan Buddhist monks sometimes burn themselves to death. The officers always try to prevent them from protesting against central government and try not to let any communications report them, but they cannot hide the cause and truth completely. There is nothing but violence. They would like to steal Spratly Islands, ruled by Taiwan, Philippine, Vietnam and Malaysia, too. Also Senkaku Islands, ruled by Japan, is among Chinese targets.

The Chinese nation only hear information which help China or the Communist Party. Of course Chinese people know the news they get are censored and changed somewhat, but they would like to believe information which are advantageous to them. This fact tells us that the cause of China heterogeneity is not only the Communist Party but also the nation. I think censorship made them become languid people. They do not think by their brains, because it is not wise to jail themselves by their own brains. But what if they thought their own brains? Well, it still shows us that oppression can only survive through the silence. Few people stand up and have brave soul in China.

When I visited China, I stopped over in Hong Kong. Then I saw activists handing out leaflet on human rights abuse of Chinese government. Strange to say (now I do not feel strange but then I did), nobody paid attention to them, they were just ignored. I tried to approach them, but the tour conductor stopped me and said, “You should not get that leaflet because you will be arrested if police find it.” China, even Hong Kong was like that. You could probably imagine what happens in Chinese rural area. There are few Internet access, limited information, poverty and violence. Enough is enough!

But please think, the stupidest country is the United States. It claims Chinese censorship despite its undemocratic bills. Freedom, it said. Double standards of the world’s superpower are always disgusting. Dear powers, do not try to make us look foolish. We have the cause. And where is yours?

Concerning Japan, this country made notion of ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). In 2005, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi (then) proposed it, and in 2008, signatories (Japan, United States, European Union, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Korea, Morocco, Switzerland, New Zealand and Singapore) started to negotiate on the provisions. It was one of the problems that we were not able to know any discussion in the negotiation until Wikileaks exposed it. According to this agreement, government can shut websites down when the site invade copyrights. You wise reader would notice, yes, it can also censor the Internet as SOPA or PIPA. This agreement will come into effect this year unless we do anything.

In Middle East, SNS (Social Networking service) like Facebook or Twitter played an important role in the Arab Spring Revolution. However, the news was reported that Twitter will censor tweets as per the wishes of countries. China will have to use this system; my hope of “Chinese Jasmine Revolution” has gone. I strongly hope this system will be defeated as soon as possible by our protest. I am so afraid that Facebook will follow Twitter, I believe Facebook should un-friend Twitter.

Cyber war has already got involved with Middle East. For instance, as to Palestine-Israel conflict, some Israeli governmental websites have been re-written and Israeli officers’ names, address, telephone numbers, credit card numbers and photographs of their face have been disclosed by Arab hackers. Oh, and please do not worry Israel, you hacked Arab websites more than Arab hackers. Sad to say, Arab hackers are lagging behind Israeli hackers in cyber war in point of fact.

We call these activism “hacktivism.” Hacktivism aims to reform the status quo by using the way of hacking. It was originally born by cDc in the late 1990’s. And the group has political subordinate organization known as “Hacktivismo.” Some hackers argue that “hacktivists” should not use hacking skills owing to political achievement, because hacking is just for fun and development of skills. I said cyber attack injures nobody, but strictly, it is not true. If hacktivists attack a power company of hostile country, the power supply will stop and patients in hospitals will get into the trouble. Yes, hacking can kill people if you really would like to. And indeed, there are many white-hat hackers in the world. Their work is not to get information or money, but to tell webmasters where security holes are in the sites. They think that hacking is not a tool of war, so cracking computer systems are not admirable, and many people agree with them. That is why objections against hacktivism exist.

This is difficult problem. However, not to have weapon means not to win. I think we should be armed with the Internet. But I must say, we should improve the Internet security first. Surely, attack and security are two sides of the coin, but we must begin it soon. Unbelievably, the website of an Arab bank has been hacked for two weeks, and leaked hundreds user names and passwords are still available even now. I notified the risk to the bank on its Facebook page, but no one replied to me. Imagine, I could even delete those accounts! I think we must reinforce the security consciousness with stronger sense of crisis. Yes, I think you should not set your password to be “10+10=20” or “fun.” They are too easy and not funny. These example are an actual part of 170,000 Israeli hosting service users’ information hacked by Saudi hacker known as 0xOmar.

Thank you for the reading, change your password!
Annotations:

*Blue Army — Chinese cyber command. China doesn’t admit that this is the hacker organization.

*Cult of the Dead Cow — Hacker organization in the U.S. This is a legend among hackers in the world.

*Chaos Computer Club — Hacker organization in Germany. It is said that there are 3,000 members in this group.

*Back Orifice — Hacking program. It can operate computers from remote location.

*IRC — Online chat system. Facebook chat is among these.

*Nuke — To attack someone in IRC by using hacking (generally DDos) software. Victim will not be able to access the Internet for a while.

*DDos — Acronym of “Distributed Denial-Of-Service attack.” To send victim’s server too many packet and make it down.

*White-hat hackers — Hackers considered ethical people. “Black-hat hackers” means unethical hackers.

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2 responses to “The Fifth Battlefield

  1. well done, do you ever wonder if governments will use hacking to crack down on the Internet to limit access, a possibility

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