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Digital Battlefield


In order to follow up on the digital armory, I was smiling when I came up with the idea of a digital battlefield. Every kind of warfare has its specific battlefield. Airwarfare for example is fought in the air. Of course that is not hundred percent sure, because from the air they can also attack the ground and ships in the water. However, the means used are used within this specific battlefield – in this case the sky.

What about the digital battlefield? When I was writing on the digital armory earlier, I tried to explain in what way cyber warfare might work, what tools to apply and what defensive mechanisms might react. Based on that article, what would be the battlefield?

The Internet is basically a network of interconnected networks. These networks are connected by huge strings of optic fibre or copper channels which run in the ground and deep down through the oceans. Also, there are some (mostly only uplink) connections via satellites. This infrastructure already covers all the different battlefields we know (air, land and sea). At this point we might argue whether the spot only counts if there is a technically device which is been attacked or if the hardwired/ softwired connection to this point also counts. In order to avoid that, we could also say that laptops can be used in an airplane or on a ship and therefore, the battlefield options would be the same.

So far, the location of battlefields is quite obvious: Where-ever a hardwired or satellite connection can be found, the battlefield might be there. Even hooking up via Wifi requires a hardwired hotspot in a certain range around the user.

With the rise of 3G however, every place with network coverage can be turned into a theatre of war. You just need a 3G ready USB device, a card of your network provider and – for the arguments sake – a laptop. Apart from the fact, that this technology widens the battlefield big time, it also allows the attacker to stay anonym. Being hooked up via cable leaves always traces on you providers connections list, linking it to your name. Using 3G erases this issue. As long as there is no personal data on your device and you don’t conduct your act of war in front of a CCTV, you are like a ghost.

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