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Defense

Infrastructure-based information system landscape

Sajad Abedi

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The discussion of cyber defense strategies is about a variety of issues, among which the most important issue is whether the significance of the potential damage caused by cyber-attacks can justify the use of a complex system for the implementation of this kind of defense. It is difficult to find an answer to this question because the available information is negligible and is often provided by sources whose impartiality is doubtful. In fact, the severity of the dangers of cybercrime (or, in other words, the constant hostile acts affecting information systems globally) cannot be simply determined.

But based on the evidence available, there have been significant cyber-attacks since 2007 (including deep-seated spyware interventions), all of which indicate cybercriminals that are more likely to be exploited Malicious actors; while information and communication systems in everyday activities have a very sensitive place to carry out physical and material operations, to store confidential and personal information or to exchange information among actors at distances.

In contrast to this wide range of malicious activities, the first issue that comes to be identified is the overall role that can have cyber defense.

In a defensive call, not only must have defensive and aggressive abilities, it should also prove the effectiveness of these abilities when needed, or, in other words, create a “reputable defense”.

Establishing “credible defense” in the cyberspace is a complicated problem, and the problems with identifying the root and the objectives of the attack will exacerbate it. The “Conficker” virus is a good example in this regard: the virus sped up in 2008 and 2009, infecting millions of computers, but its author was never identified.

Sometimes actors demonstrate “reputable defense” to showcase their cyber defense capabilities. But the current structure of the Internet and information systems prevents any kind of defense capability being displayed in real dimensions. An attack against a specific information system, for example, a power system for displaying power, allows you to convey persuasive reasons that prove the impact of the aggressive and defensive capabilities of the aforementioned actor, but on the other hand it can also have important adverse effects that they should take for responsibility. In addition, displaying power will not in a packet network, of course, have the same effect on a network.

In addition, the claim to have the ability to attack without passing the document and certificate damages the credibility of the deterrent system, but instead of showing the exact documents and the component, in addition to the ability, the knowledge that has been used in it for rival actors, it is possible to prepare for their support and increase the likelihood that rival actors will perform similar attacks.

For example, the analysis of the component part of the mystery behind the Stuxnet worm unveils its techniques and increases the likelihood that other potential authors will make the same development. But they do not provide definitive evidence of the role of having a specific actor. In this case, even the claims made in this regard cannot be stopped. (Gabi Ashkenazi, the Jewish general, when he retired, claimed he was the father of the Internet worm of Stuxnet.)

Stuxnet, of course, also poses other questions, including: why the same high-level techniques have not been used to hide the remains of the work? Or why the solution was not taken up to the “Stuxnet” worm upon completion of the attack? It will destroy itself to prevent the spread of knowledge used in it. But with the removal of footprints, the author reduces the ability to attribute their aggressive ability. Perhaps the Stuxnet worm has a two-way approach: showing its power at the expense of the diffusion of techniques (which may indicate that the author has more abilities), and provide enough evidence and evidence to prove your defensive ability.

Another issue in “prestigious defense” is the dependability of statements and claims: we must try to make it in the area of clarity and speed of data flow that we do not make false claims to be rejected by others and discredited, Because not only defense is not done, but the role of creator will certainly be questioned, and the loss of reputation in cyberspace will reduce the potential for defense.

For example, the US firm HBG (Federal Security Software Development Company) in 2010 claimed that it developed equipment that could detect hackers by analyzing data transmitted through social networks. Earlier this year, the company claimed that it had penetrated the Anonymous Group, had gained access to some of its members, and announced its readiness to sell the identity of the members to the FBI. In front of the Anonymous group, it also attacked the company’s site and published its tens of thousands of confidential emails over the Internet, disclosing the company’s intentions against WikiLeaks. Additionally, he announced that the people who had been nominated by HBG as members of the Anonymous group were not really members of the group, and that the methods used by HBGI to be not sure technically feasible. Following this revelation, the “HB” customers have gradually diverted from the company and the US government has begun research on the deal set between its defense services and the company.

A similar situation was made between NATO and the Anonymous group. In the spring of 2011, NATO released a report addressing the challenges of recent developments in cybercrime activism, in particular the operations of both WikiLeaks and Anonymous, claiming that the activities of the group (Anonymous It will not be late and soon its members will be identified and prosecuted. In response to NATO’s action, the Anonymous group stepped up its attacks on official sites, in particular the FBI, and announced in late July 2011 that it had attacked NATO sites and had several gigabytes of document he has stolen several documents on the Internet to prove his claims.

It should be noted that this action (prosecution of non-state actors), although not in the defense field, can undoubtedly proceed in the context of a long-running dispute between governments and an illegal group towards progression. In fact, this type of counteraction (and its methods used) is a reminder of the struggle against transnational or national criminal organizations.

The lack of a documented example of confrontation between governments in cyberspace does not mean that there is no such conflict. Rather, it shows that hostilities between the governments are more or less hidden for specific reasons (including the insistence on concealment of their abilities, attempts to avoid physical or economic coping, etc.). In addition, most of the activities in the cyberspace are made using spy services, and these groups have a prominent place in defensive actions. In the perspective of developing and developing cyber defense, this should be considered. There are two main options for governments to organize the development of defensive and aggressive capabilities:

– What France has chosen and confirmed in the White Defense and National Security Council of France, that two defensive and offensive functions should be separated:

France has assigned the Department of Defense to the “National Security Agency for Information Systems” and the offensive section of the Ministry of Defense and the General Directorate of Security.

– In front of the United States, he has chosen a strategy for combining two defensive and aggressive functions in one set, and both have been transferred to a single organization (the NSA).

Finally, it is important to emphasize that, in order to make the attacking and counteracting functions more effective against attacks, it is essential to apply multi-sectorial industrial relations in the field of informatics and to establish international cooperation and to develop and defend defense acceptable cybercrime influences.

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Defense

Turkey is the Guarantor of Peace in the Black Sea region

Asim Suleymanov

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The wider Black Sea region—which brings together the littoral states plus neighbouring countries—is experiencing a rapidly shifting security environment that combines large-scale conventional military threats, internationalized civil wars and protracted conflicts, as well as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) challenges. As such, a fragile set of states caught between the Euro-Atlantic community, on the one hand, and Russia and its allies, on the other, has emerged as a key interface between the two security communities.  

Since the 1990s, most of the world’s identified cases of illicit trafficking of nuclear materials—fissile materials, in particular—have been located in countries around the Black Sea. The nuclear security situation in the region is further complicated by the existence of areas with unstable governance and protracted conflicts such as in Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and areas of Eastern Ukraine since 2014.

The Washington’s open, aggressive behavior in the international arena pushes traditional allies away from it. But despite the escalation of the conflict with Turkey, the United States, being the founding member of NATO, is still pursuing the goal of strengthening its presence in the Black Sea.

Today, the main allies of the White House in this region are the leadership of Georgia and Ukraine, who dream of entry into NATO and accept all the imposed conditions.
However, for more than 80 years the presence of warships of non-Black Sea powers, that could enter the sea via the Bosphorus, has been regulated by the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits. According to it, the total non-Black Sea tonnage, with few exceptions, is limited to 15 thousand ships. It prevents the emergence of something more significant there than a detachment of light forces, one or two large warships. At the same time for warships there are restrictions on the class and duration of stay. In particular, ships of non-Black Sea states can stay in the water area for no more than 21 days.
Any attempts to violate this document will be extremely negatively perceived by Turkey, that should be one of the leading players in the region. It is impossible to revise the convention without the consent of Turkey, and only supporting by Ankara country can provide overwhelming superiority in the Black Sea.


In such a situation, the Pentagon considers it possible to use the navigable channel of Istanbul for the passage of American aircraft carriers, that will connect the Marmara and the Black Sea. A channel of about 50 km in length will run parallel to the Bosphorus, while the Montreux Convention will not extend to it. The construction of Channel Istanbul will be completed in 2023.

By the end of construction, everything will depend on the leadership of Turkey. If Ankara concedes and allows the passage of the US Navy aircraft carriers through the new channel, it will surrender all its positions in the Black Sea to the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, NATO member countries (this is not about Bulgaria and Romania) maintain a military presence in the Black Sea region. The Sea Shield 2019 naval drills ended in mid-April, and the reconnaissance ship HMS Echo of the British Royal Navy continues to carry out its mission in the Black Sea.

The US Navy already has 11 atomic high-speed aircraft carriers, each with about 90 aircraft. If we imagine that a small part of them will be placed in the Black Sea, then Russia will receive a defensive response. And then all the terrible scenarios of hostilities are likely to happen.

There is a hope that the Turkish government has enough resilience and determination in confronting the harsh rhetoric of other NATO partners.

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Defense

Insecurity of India’s Nuclear Weapons

Ali Raza

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After 1945, it came into the knowledge that nuclear weapons are the most destructive, lethal and powerful weapon on the planet earth, which can wipe out hundreds of thousands of people in short span of time. That’s why global community, particularly the U.S. and Former Soviet Union agreed on formulation of stringent globally accepted principles to secure these destructive weapons. India is the first country that brought nuclear weapons in South Asia by detonating nuclear device back in 1974 and yet again in 1998.However, since than safety and security of these weapons under the control of violent Hindutva regime has considerably attracted much of the scholars’ attraction.

Terrorism has become an increasing concern within international society but so far there has been less focus on one particular aspect of the problem that is nuclear terrorism. Yet, within the context of South Asia this is of special significance, given the number of insurgencies and freedom struggles with transnational linkages, and the nuclearisation of this region since 1998. Of all the South Asian states, India’s nuclear facilities are perhaps the most vulnerable to nuclear terrorism, given India’s expansive nuclear programme, much of it not subject to IAEA safeguards. In addition, the vulnerability of India’s nuclear facilities is further aggravated by its thriving underworld and more than a dozen insurgencies going on within the Indian states, as well as the freedom struggle in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

India’s nuclear programme has developed at an exceptionally fast pace. However, because a few of such facilities are under international safeguards, there is little knowledge about the levels of safety of the various nuclear facilities. Of the ten operational power plants, only four are under IAEA safeguards. According to an Indian parliamentary report, 147 mishaps or safety-related unusual occurrences were reported between the years 1995-1998 in Indian atomic energy plants. Of these, 28 were of an acute nature and 9 of these 28 occurred in the nuclear power installations. Thus, the state of Indian nuclear facilities raises serious concerns as they seem to be vulnerable to a high probability of terrorist attacks, thefts and accidents. The scale of the programme aggravates the problems, as there are plans for the building of pressurized heavy water reactors, fast breeder reactors and thorium reactors on a commercial scale.

Apart from the risk of falling of nuclear weapons and related technology in the hands of terrorists, if one looks at the leadership of India and try to analyse the factor of rationality in the decision making of use of nuclear weapon it clearly suggests that the current leadership i.e. BJP is not only hawkish in its nature but equally believes in use of force for political gains, which further leads us to the assumption that the nuclear decision making is equally occupied by the Hindu hardliners.

During the recent Pulwama Crisis, it has been learnt that BJP’s irresponsible behaviour should suffice for all Indians to understand that India will remain hyphenated with Pakistan for foreseeable time. India planned to use Brahmos missile that could carry nuclear warhead. India’s behaviour clearly shows that nuclear weapons are in wrong hands. Because the yield and potential related to the nuclear weapons are absolutely detrimental and possession of such weapons in wrong, less responsible and extremist hands is a threat for the entire world.

The only purpose of nuclear weapons is to acquire deterrence in order to avoid the possibility of war. But, India is showing the attitude that it will use these weapons for the purposes of war fighting, which is unacceptable to international community.  

The track record of India in the field of nuclear weapons and related technology is much muddier. India initiated arms race in the region, and, it is leaving no stone unturned e.g. advancements in sea-based nuclear capabilities and militarisation of space. Most importantly the recent ASAT test, which is in fact a compelling factor for neighbouring states to think in the same way in order to acquire comparable technologies for equalizing the defence capabilities. These alarming acts of India can bring the entire region at the verge of instability, which in fact could prove dire for the peace of the entire globe keeping in view the economic, natural resources, political and security factors of the region.

The time has come for the international community to break its silence and stop their patronage for India and take serious note and steps regarding the possession of nuclear weapons by India in relation to its aggressive and immature behaviour and mind-set of its leadership, which can lead entire globe to the unacceptable disaster. Since, Kashmir is flash point between both nuclear armed states it is only India which is triggering it by its continuous atrocities in Kashmir. Most importantly existence of ISIS in India is also a foremost point of concern especially keeping in view the nuclear program of India, according to the recent development ISIS claimed for the first time that it has established a “province” in India, after a clash between militants and security forces in the contested Kashmir region killed a militant with alleged ties to the group. This is not only the matter, which solely related to the stability and security of South Asia. This time instability is knocking the door of entire globe in the form of India. The continuous negligence of international community with respect to Indian nuclear weapons will definitely disturb the stability as well as peace of the entire globe.

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Defense

Why the U.S. is silent about military exercises in the Baltic States

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The Baltic States are in the anticipation of the annual large scale military exercise Saber Strike.

The well-known annual international exercise held since 2010 by the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) is focused on the Baltic States. These countries consider this event as a key element of participants’ training on command and control as well as interoperability with regional partners. The Saber Strike exercise aims to facilitate cooperation amongst the U.S., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and allied and partner nations.

Usually these maneuvers take place in June. Thus, it is logical to assume that the time of the military exercise is coming, but this year event is never mentioned.

There are two ways of situation development. The first one is – Saber Strike 2019 will not be held at all. The second one is the information about Saber Strike 2019 is classified.

The first assumption is unlikely taking into account the U.S. and NATO desire to strengthen the position in the region. This assumption is also contradicted by the increasing number and scale of international and national military exercises in the Baltic region.
So, the second assumption is most likely. But the question arises about the aim of hiding the information or its content. It is widely proclaimed that NATO and the U.S. put transparency about the exercises in the head. This principle is either one of the key priorities of all international organizations including UN and OSCE. Transparency of activity helps to build international peace and trust.

It is especially surprising after NATO expressed concern about transparency of Russian and Russia-Belarus military drills which were held near the Baltic State’s borders. Unlike allies, opponents give preliminary information about planned exercises. By the way, some facts can be find on Internet about joint exercise Union Shield 2019 that will take place in autumn in Russia.

BulgarianMilitary.com  quoted  Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu who stated in 2018 that “Union Shield 2019” exercise would be only defensive and emphasized: “First and foremost, and I would like everyone to hear that, our drills are solely of defensive nature. We do not plan any offensive actions as compared to the [NATO] military exercises. We, undoubtedly, are doing this not as a response to some drills but as a response to the threats which exist today and which, to our big regret, grow every year.”

From time to time we can read about the preparations for Russian-Belarusian exercise “Union Shield 2019”. Thus on March 12-14, the Belarusian-Russian command-staff training on working out the interaction of military authorities, formations and military units in the framework of the regional grouping of troops (RGT) was carried out jointly, as well as improving the RGT control system.

“The general staffs have embarked on the preparation of the Union Shield 2019 exercise, which will be the main event of joint training of the military command and troops in 2019 and which will further improve the system of military security of the Union State,” Belarusian Minister of Defense Andrei Ravkov noted. According to him, such events help check the quality and level of combat readiness of the regional group of troops, to see the real capabilities of weapons and the ability to carry out combat tasks.
True or not, but information is available. It is not very detailed but at least it is provided in advance. At least they name it as defensive.

As far as Saber Strike is concerned, everything is vaguely and therefore scary. What is the aim of it? Does it have defensive or offensive nature? When and who will come to the Baltic States? The approach “no comments” is not the best one in this case. The Baltics want and should know. Our opponents should be aware either. Otherwise their respond could be unexpected and even destroying. Uncertainty causes panic and rejection among local population.

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