via the Montreal Gazette
The recent spate of cyber-attacks against Canada, emanating from China, aren’t the first and won’t be the last assaults on Western computer networks, which is why Canada and its closest allies need to get serious about protecting cyberspace.
The good news is that military, government and industry leaders in allied countries are already at work applying the principles of collective defence to this newest theatre of operations. The bad news is that the bad guys have gotten a head start.
Some argue that cyber-attacks aren’t a threat to real-world security. They’re wrong. Just consider the worrisome words of the head of the UN agency on information technology who fears “the next world war could happen in cyberspace,” or ask our friends in Estonia and Georgia.
Web War I
Estonia weathered what some call “Web War I” in 2007, when Russian nationalists unleashed a withering volley of “distributed denial of service” attacks that crashed networks across the country, including those supporting government agencies, media outlets, the mobile-phone system and the country’s largest bank.
A year after Estonia, Russian cyber-militiamen launched a digital invasion ahead of the Russian military’s ground invasion of Georgia, crippling government networks and servers.