Sandworm

I mentioned during a recent post that I had reviewed Andy Greenberg’s Sandworm. You can read the review at http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/bookreview/sandworm-a-new-era-of-cyberwar-and-the-hunt-for-the-kremlins-most-dangerous-hackers

The book shocked me. Its subject is cyberwar. Greenberg puts the matter succinctly: “This is what cyberwar looks like: an invisible force capable of striking out from an unknown origin to sabotage, on a massive scale, the technologies that underpin civilization.”

Cyberwar is the deliberate disruption of computers. It can close down virtually every functioning activity in the targeted nation, and it can destroy equipment. A good example is Stuxnet, the 2010 attack on Iranian computers controlling uranium enrichment. It destroyed 984 centrifuges and stopped Iran’s nuclear research.

“Sandworm” is the name of a Russian organization whose mission is the disruption of other nation’s computer-controlled operations. Unfortunately, President Trump denies Russia’s malfeasance. That encourages Russia to attack at will. The U.S. Cyber Command, the agency responsible for both defense against cyber attacks and offensive actions against other nations, has so far—apparently—staved off major effective attacks. We don’t know because all the work of the command is classified.

With Trump’s fondness for Vladimir Putin and refusal to blame Russia for offensive actions (including Sandworm’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee computers in 2016), the threat is very real.

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