International Policy Digest

Tech /17 Jun 2018

What About the Decybernization of North Korea?

Donald J. Trump made history with his Singapore Summit with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, but did their promise for total denuclearization of North Korea exclude the promise for its decybernization of its electronic cyber weapons? That is a huge question to pose to the President, his diplomatic staff, and to all his critics who have no idea of what weapons we should be concerned about. It is also a question for the Mainstream Media to ponder as all their criticism seems devoid of any valid questions about this real and growing threat.

Today, denuclearization is not enough for peace and prosperity to flourish. The total dismantlement of any electronic cyberwarfare systems should be deemed just as important as dismantling a country’s intercontinental missiles, their warheads, and their launch facilities. In fact, some involved in current electronic warfare would argue that it is more important because you can attain a lot more damage without having to spend the money and special resources to get a real nuclear program up-and-running.

Nuclear warfare is devastating and most people realize it. What many do not realize is that today’s cyberwarfare and focused cyberattacks on banking, critical infrastructure, and other prime targets can be just as devastating and just as effective in freezing up a country’s total economy or completely destroying it.

In this century, it’s not about nuclear weapons, although the vast majority are still focused on nuclear war. Today, cyber weapons are the great equalizer for small rogue countries and terrorist groups to wage asymmetrical warfare. They can have real leverage on large countries who have vast military resources and capital.

As I have said in the past, “You don’t need to match up head-to-head against a squadron of F-35s, A10s, or 1,000 tanks, if you have a competent cadres of software experts who know how to engineer destructive malware and ransomware.” In fact, the F-35s and 1,000 tanks are virtually useless against a cyberattack.

As observed in an earlier article I wrote for International Policy Digest: “Today, cyberattacks aren’t measured in days or even hours. A whole cyberwar can last only a couple of seconds – or less. In Cyberwar or NANOKRIEG, there are no Frontlines any more, only virtual lines across electronic borders. Battlefields are now in server farms in data centers and across Intelligent Infrastructure (the power grid and the communications networks). Some attacks could happen and no one would even know about them for a year. Some attacks are virtually untraceable.”

Are our enterprise networks and clouds safe from North Korean interference? Are all of our government and private sector data centers safe from cyberattacks? And what about our Allies’ critical electronic infrastructure? Are they safe or at least “off-limits” from an attack?

These are questions to ask the North Koreans in the next summit meeting. Journalists who question nuclear issues should get into the right century and start questioning the warfare strategies of this century – Cyberwarfare.

Today, the only limits cyber-warriors have is the creativity that they possess.

In any of our negotiations for peace at this time with North Korea, or any other rogue nation for that matter, we should restrict the use of destructive malware and ransomware, especially in the area of civilian and government intelligent infrastructure.

Cyber weapons and cyberwarfare were not discussed in the initial North Korean Summit. They should be discussed and openly dealt with just as all the nuclear weapons and delivery systems are being dealt with from a more traditional warfare approach.

Where do we sign to limit or cease cyberwarfare? This is the question we should be asking at the next summit meeting.

In a whitepaper I recently wrote for the American Intelligence Journal, I outline a better approach to combatting cyberwarfare and discuss creating and applying a stronger defense against cyberattacks and all out cyberwarfare.

As we move into 5G Networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), new mobile apps including digital wallets, and other 21st century communications-based information technology platforms, we need to attain a higher-quality level of operating system software which does not have all the Swiss-cheese holes of vulnerabilities in it. Software companies and network carriers developing new applications, operating systems, broadband connectivity networks, and cybersecurity software today need to improve what they already have.