Coming with a big rap from our non-resident techies, George Smith exposes the cyberjoke to end cyberjokes:
Voice of America has opened up a new blog called Digital Frontiers. Reads the banner: “This is the first of a series of Digital Frontiers features, exploring how international tensions translate to the online world.”
VOA journalist Doug Bernard, writing from Washington, DC, in the first post from Digital Frontiers, leads with:
“On January 17th, 1991, as the 34-nation coalition of Operation Desert Storm prepared for its first aerial bombardment of targets in Iraq, the U.S. military sprung a surprise.
“Iraqi radar screens suddenly blinked and went dark, momentarily blinding Saddam Hussein’s military. The ‘Kari’ radar control system had been infected with a computer virus, planted and controlled by the Pentagon. ‘It was a French system,’ notes intelligence historian Matthew Aid of the Iraqi radar control. ‘They gave us the schematics and we found a way to insert some buggies into their system as the first wave of American bombers streaked toward Baghdad.’
“It worked brilliantly. Iraq’s defenses were paralyzed, allied bombers faced no serious opposition, and the U.S. became the first-ever nation to launch a documented cyber-attack.”
In a post entitled, “The Coming Cyberwar with Iran?” the piece goes on to muse about what is and what is not real about cyberwar.
Yes, there is some irony in the hard stone that the very first example of a real cyberattack used is a now notorious joke in computer security circles.
Now, to save on the heavy lifting, I’ll just repost the rundown on it, published at Symantec’s SecurityFocus website (and syndicated to the Register), back in 2003.