Remember the movie "300," where The Spartans fought the Persians? Now, get ready for the cyber version: "50,000." That's the number of infected computers trying to launch the online equivalent of a World War.
It started with a denial of service attack on US Government websites. Not that you were likely to visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or Department of Transportation (DOT) websites over the 4th of July weekend, but if you did, you would have found them knocked out until sometime Monday. Blame has been placed on a botnet made up of 50,000 computers, launching a denial of service attack on us. You may remember these denial attacks when they briefly shut down large consumer websites. Can you imagine the impact if instead of FTC and DOT, this attack were to have taken out Yahoo or Amazon.com for three to four days?
Robert McMillan can. McMillan writes a blog called "Security Blanket," and he says the bot actually did target those two e-commerce sites. He says the attack wasn't strong enough to do real damage, but the 50,000 have since moved on, targeting high-level websites in South Korea. McMillan admits he doesn't know where the attack started, or what its motivation is, but some are pointing their fingers at either North Korea, or South Korea itself.
It's interesting: Test a nuclear weapon, and you're public enemy number one. Certainly understandable as we try to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. Launch a denial of service attack at governments of large countries, and you're still able to shroud yourself in mystery, even while countries around the world wring their hands at the destructive possibilities.
It's a scary time, not just in our airspace, but in cyberspace as well.