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McAfee Report Reveals Looming Cyber Warfare

November 17, 2009

Computer security firm McAfee has issued a report showing that many nations are beefing up their defenses for cyber warfare.

The new McAfee report refers to a “Cyber Cold War,” with the key players being the US, Israel, Russia, China and France.

“While we have not yet seen a ‘hot’ cyberwar between major powers, the efforts of nation-states to build increasingly sophisticated cyberattack capabilities, and in some cases demonstrate a willingness to use them, suggest that a ‘Cyber Cold War’ may have already begun,” said the report.

The report was put together by former White House Homeland Security adviser Paul Kurtz. Kurtz gathered information from interviews with more than 20 experts in international relations, national security and Internet security.

While nations are upping their defenses against such cyber threats from other countries, they are also developing new ways to launch their own attacks, according to the report.

BBC News reported that the US possesses an operating manual that contains rules and procedures of cyber warfare tactics. The US has been known to hack attacks along with ground operations during the Iraq war.

“To go to physical war requires billions of dollars,” said Greg Day, primary analyst for security at McAfee Europe.

“To go to cyber war most people can easily find the resources that could be used in these kind of attacks.”

“In physical warfare it’s pretty clear who has which weapon and how they are using them,” Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer at Veracode, told BBC News. “In the networked world that attribution is incredibly difficult.”

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