Recent reports indicate that Russian forces used hacking to intercept a U.S. surveillance drone flying over the Crimea region of Ukraine in March. Allegedly, hackers were able to sever the connection between the drone and its operator using “complex radio-electronic technology.”
Additional coverage indicates a wide range of cyberactivities under way during the standoff, from primitive vandalism of Russian websites by Ukrainian hackers to more sophisticated operations, such as the possible Russian use of “Snake” malware to stealthily siphon information from various networks.
For American audiences and policymakers alike, reports like these provide chilling reminders that cyberspace is emerging as a 21st-century global battlefield. They also point to a critical need for the U.S. military to redefine “information warfare” for a wireless world to defend against such threats This is one reason for the recent U.S. budget increases for cybercapabilities.
[See a collection of editorial cartoons on the Ukraine-Crimea crisis.]
Among the most significant challenges now facing the U.S. military is the increasingly blurred boundary between wired and wireless technologies.