What is Cyber Blitzkrieg and why is it important to avoid it

BlitzkriegCyber Blitzkrieg:
how a computer can destroy a nation

The soldiers have abandoned the tanks and are going behind the computers ready to launch a fulminating attack that finishes with the enemy in minutes. Entire nations could lose their infrastructure and be in chaos in a few hours. This is not science fiction, this is the Cyber Blitzkrieg.

The first time the term Blitzkrieg was used (translated from the German language as "lightning war") was in 1935 in the context of the German military publication Deutsche Wehr, however, it was in the first battles of the Second World War when Blitzkrieg was put into practice.

The Blitzkrieg is the definition of a short but furious and devastating attack on the enemy through the use of a strategy based on speed and surprise. To achieve the success of the Blitzkrieg, the German army used an infantry attack combined with aerial bombing that left the enemy unable to respond.

The Second World War episode is history but not war tactics, which have been modernized and developed according to the times in which we live. That's how the Cyber Blitzkrieg was born.

What is Cyber Blitzkrieg

Today, the battlefield has moved to the cyberspace and the old German war technique we have developed and transformed into the Cyber Blitzkrieg.

Many hackers and crackers have become the new cyber soldiers involved in a warfare that can have fatal consequences. A cyber war is defined as the actions of a nation to infiltrate the networks and servers of an enemy nation to cause damage and disruption.

There are examples which can demonstrate attempts to produce Cyber Blitzkrieg attacks in recent years. For example, in 2014 North Korea accused the United States government of having launched a kind of Cyber BlitzKrieg that completely cut off Internet access in the Asian country. This attack would have been in retaliation for the hacking allegedly carried out by North Korea to Sony Pictures.

Other similar examples occurred in the Israeli bombing of an alleged Syrian nuclear weapons plant. Israeli hackers would have blinded Syrian radars to allow the effectiveness of the bombing.

Cyber war
Nowadays, a computer can be more dangerous than a tank.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies based in London, military agencies of different governments launch daily "preventive" cyber attacks to measure their own cybernetic weapons and the response capacity of their potential enemies.

The same institute points out that the international community has not paid enough attention to the disaster of a cyberwar with a global reach. Its destructive capacity could instantly disable the infrastructure of countries, confuse their international transactions and even trigger nuclear attacks remotely if they manage to infiltrate military computers.

According to the Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, the North Korean government has an army of undercover hackers who live outside the country waiting for instructions to carry out a Cyber Blitzkrieg when necessary.

One of the deadliest cyber attacks occurred in Estonia in 2007 when tensions with Russia increased. In the attack, more than one million computers were used to saturate Estonian government websites as well as news and business sites.

The Apocalypse of the Cyber Blitzkrieg

Imagine the consequences of a general failure in the supply of water or electricity that lasts several days or weeks, the massive blockade of internet access, the hacking of the navigation systems of an airport tower, or the dissemination of false news on the internet that generate fear, chaos, and vandalism in the population.

An effective Cyber Blitzkrieg can bring down an entire nation in a matter of minutes without using any conventional military equipment.

Unfortunately, the increasing dependence that modern infrastructure has on the networks is like the Achilles heel. This can provide an apocalyptic scenario in case of a cyber attack.

This cyber war of low intensity costs the world about one trillion dollars a year and is expected to increase as new cyber threats appear.

The consequences can be huge for world powers such as the United States, Russia or China. In fact, the Cyber Command of the US Department of Defense operates 7 million computers and telecommunications in 88 countries ready to combat and defend against cyber attacks on a global scale.

The possibilities of a large-scale cyber war are greater due to the increase in the speed of the attacks and the anonymity offered by the cyberspace. Another aspect that should be considered is the fact that nowadays hackers have more access to cheap tools easy to use.

What seemed like a science fiction story a few years ago is closer than ever. A real battle between computers capable of running a dreaded Cyber Blitzkrieg. Will we be able to avoid it?

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