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Cyber warfare readiness PDF Print E-mail

The following is a sumaary of a discussion on Cyber warfare and Uganda's readiness for cyber attacks taken from the D-group mailing list. 

Age of cyber warfare is 'dawning'

Increasingly, hackers fight alongside ground troops

*Cyber war has moved from fiction to fact, says a report.*

Compiled by security firm McAfee, it bases its conclusion on analysis of recent net-based attacks.

Analysis of the motives of the actors behind many attacks carried out via the internet showed that many were mounted with a explicitly political aim.

It said that many nations were now arming to defend themselves in a cyber war and readying forces to conduct their own attacks.

While definitions of what constitutes cyber war are not shared, it was clear that many nations were preparing for a future in which conflict was partly conducted via the net.

- Dumba Nicholas

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I think for now Uganda is "secure" given the fact that our power generation/distribution, traffic grid controls, military/security intelligence assets, financial systems, National Data Bank, nuclear energy(lots of the mineral wealth underground), irrigations systems, air traffic controls are either non existent, under-developed,already
mannually in crisis mode or simply do not attract any real attention for economic or industrial espionage. Industrial espionage is possible in sectors that are highly competitive especially now among telecom operators, Banking sector and may be the beer industry(rivalry between Nile/Uganda Brewery). Cyber warefare is often for reconnissance, intelligence gathering, compromising of critical national assets remotely and disabling critical services such as transportation(metro or air traffic controls), energy supply, communication, compromising of military communications sytems or diversion of misile defence systems from intended enemy targets, financial  systems etc. - Shaka Robert

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Also remember that Uganda is in the process of building the National Backbone where all government institutions and agencies will be connected, then there are the optic fiber cable in the offing. When Uganda is finally connected, whoever will be interested in our resources will actually disorganize them before we even start modernizing them, keeping us in the underworld. So the main question here is are we prepared for these attacks as we try to modernize. Rember it's better to prevent that to fire-fight. - Dumba Nicholas

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Uganda does have the infrastructure to protect, we may lack the the most recently developed "power generation/distribution, traffic grid controls, military/security
intelligence assets, financial systems, National Data Bank, nuclear energy(lots of the mineral wealth underground), irrigations systems, air traffic controls.

But trust me a walk into any of the aforementioned installations and you will see interconnected computers however basic, even mobile phones.

Think this, how many times have you failed to make a call because "All circuits are busy", we had a free calls bonaza just before CHOGM and as soon as it hit 11PM all teleco networks got jammed, it was excrutiating to be willing to pay for a call but your not able to make it, think how many failed to call emergency services when they need the help, luckly it was just a promotion that was switched off, now think if that had occured due to some permament damage to the teleco networks? Where would we be?

So Yes we do have the infrastructure to protect arcahic or not, and we should all make effort to play our part, its the patriotic thing to do :-)
-  Daniel Bwente

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Without properly thinking out the security processes, policies and procedures for the government systems , I am afraid sooner or later we would have a beautiful cyber attack as they say. - Fred Bbaale

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For Uganda we need to start with the basics of computer use. We need to put in place aceptable user policies that ensure data integrity at the basic level.

How many government offices today save their data on the PC and CD’s ??
How secure is the data on laptops ?
How many of our minsitrys have a full secure network with secure servers??

Though the major cyber threat is real i think we have bigger lower level problems which will have real impact.

A comprehensive policy is needed at the baseline which then would build in safety measures that would protect us in the long run.

PPDA also needs to have an IT infrastructure procurement policy which mitigates the potential threat.
- Badru Ntege

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What is Cyber Warfare?
"Cyberwarfare, (also known as cyberwar and Cyber Warfare), is the use of computers and the Internet in conducting warfare in cyberspace."....Wikipedia. - Douglas Onyango

Cyber Warfare is the use of Internet- connected (cyber) computers and other electronic devices to conduct disruptions and/or facilitate conventional warfare. Refer to Georgia.

Since computer security covers availability, issues with the Backbone not being delivered on time, equipment being stolen and repairs being required on the new fibre could be a result of management challenges.

But this has nothing to do with Cyber Warfare which as we saw is a technique for continuing or facilitating conventional war.
- Frederick Wamala

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Issues arising for MoICT and other agencies to look into
1. Is Uganda prepared for cyber attacks?
2. How are the security processes, policies and procedures for the government systems that ensure Government systems are not attacked being implemented?
3. How many government offices today save their data on the PC and CD’s ?
4. How secure is the data on laptops ?
5. How many of our minsitrys have a full secure network with secure servers?
6. Do we have aceptable user policies that ensure data integrity?

 

I think it would be naive for us to sit back and be comfortable in the knowledge that we are "secure" just because we do not "enjoy" modern day luxuries consistent
with the information age.

Computers and computing systems are being bought and powered each day. Networks are coming online, each day. Not to reiterate what some of the other posters have already
mentioned, but if security is not part of the plan from day one, simply because we're "Uganda", then all the work we're doing is for naught.

Put in the structures now, folks. Let's correct what we already have now, but also prepare for what is coming tomorrow. As my Chinese friend would say, "This stuff won't
fix itself, grasshopper".

Let's take advantage of the greenfield state of things, if for nothing else. It'll be harder to retrofit security later on. - Mark Tinka

 

Read full discussion http://dgroups.org/ViewDiscussion.aspx?c=641a4329-fd6f-4f6f-a1de-9b208975fbbb&i=a5957e01-999f-4ed5-90b8-c04953c48be8


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Contributions received with thanks from: Badru Ntege; Daniel Bwente; Davis J Weddi; Derek Sejjuko; Douglas Onyango; Dumba Nicholas; Fred Bbale; Frederick Wamala; James Wire; Mark Tinka; Mutaremwa Frank; Shaka Robert

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