Newsroom

Nov. 30, 2007

Cyber warfare is possible, warns U.S. Air Force
Presentation at SMU set for Dec. 5

Here are some scenarios the U.S. Air Force uses to paint a picture of cyber warfare:

  • Right now a finance technician is moving U.S. dollars via laptop to support terrorist operations while sipping coffee in an internet cafe.
  • Right now a foreign government engineer is on the Net using stolen American technology to build radar and navigational jammers to counter American air superiority.
  • Right now a foreign hacker is crashing an American server that holds a Web site with data he does not like.

Lt. Col. David Fahrenkrug, Chief of the Strategic Studies Group for the U.S. Air Force’s new cyber command, will speak at SMU on the nature of cyber warfare and its potential threats to the United States.  His presentation, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the Huitt-Zollars Pavilion in the Embrey Engineering Building.

Fahrenkrug's presentation comes on the heels of a warning issued Thursday (Nov. 29) about a possible "cyber cold war." About 120 countries are developing ways to use the Internet as a weapon to target financial markets, government computer systems and utilities, according to Internet security company McAfee. Read about McAfee's warning and Fahrenkrug’s explanation of cyberspace and its role in modern warfare.

The 8th Air Force, based in Shreveport, was announced in early November as the new cyber command, underscoring an expanded Air Force commitment to air, space and cyberspace power. Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England has referred to attempts to degrade U.S. fighting networks by hackers, cyber-vigilantes, terrorists and hostile nations as the issue he spends “more time thinking about in the middle of the night than any other.”

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