Cyber Warfare Risk far exceeds The Millennium
London, UK, 30th March 1999 - DK Matai, the Founder and Managing Director
of mi2g (www.mi2g.com) announced today that "The risk associated
with Cyber Warfare will overtake the Millennium Bug issue for financial institutions,
government and military establishments very soon. Given that 205 Million people
used the internet in 1998 and this figure is going to exceed 420 Million users
by 2001, the risk associated with Cyber Warfare is growing exponentially".
mi2g, a leading authority on high security Knowledge Systems engineering,
published an internal memorandum on 11th January 1999 for Lloyd's of London
syndicates and London Market broker clients, which is now being made public.
According to mi2g, if Cyber Warfare risk is calculated as a function
of the network exposure of government, private, financial and military institutions,
it greatly exceeds the Millennium bug risk, which is essentially a computing
design risk. According to the law of network access, the total risk is a product
of the individual risks at each node of the network and is directly proportional
to the square of the accessible nodes. It can be seen that the risk from hacking
on the internet with, say, 100 Million vulnerable nodes is of the order of
1016 (100 Million X 100 Million) times as high as the individual risk to a
Hence DK Matai emphasizes that, "The Millennium
bug is a dwarfed problem in comparison to Cyber Warfare, which places even
the mightiest military and financial institutions at substantial risk if continuous
surveillance systems and counter-hacking measures are not deployed immediately."
Public Reproduction of the mi2g Internal Memorandum of 11th January
The Threat to Government, Business and Financial Markets
mi2g internal memorandum
Historically war has been classified as physical attacks with bombs &
bullets between nation states. It was beyond the means of an individual to
Today, in the Information Age, the launch pad for war is no longer a runway
but a computer. The attacker is no longer a pilot or soldier but a civilian
Hacker. An individual with relatively simple computer capability can do things
via the internet that can impact economic infrastructures, social utilities
and national security. This is the problem we face in moving from the industrial
world to the Information Age, which is the essence of Cyber War.
The Internet was developed during the cold war climate of the 1960s to protect
communications in the event of a nuclear strike. The main strength of the
internet is that if parts of the network are destroyed information automatically
re-routes. In essence there is no Central Control that can be targeted. It
is this very anonymity and the anarchy of the Internet that leaves organisations
open to attack.
The problem is that Western societies have in the past few decades become
reliant on the efficient functioning of electronic control systems for more
and more segments of daily life, especially the economic processes. There
is an assumption that they will function flawlessly or that there is a readily
available standby in every case. There is also a misunderstanding about communications
systems. Communications systems are now just computers that route information
on the back of commands.
If these electronic systems go wrong the technology that supports our economies
fails. As the global network of computers, the Internet, becomes the communication
backbone, all societies reliant upon it are vulnerable to cyber attack.
As Stephen Badsey of Sandhurst Royal Military Academy states:
'...attack a society through its computers to cause the breakdown of the
mechanism & the infrastructure which cause it to run, you will bring about
mass deaths......directly or indirectly...'
It is possible to attack and interrupt any electronic network which would
naturally include power stations, emergency services, stock market and air
traffic control systems, with devastating consequences. The consequences are
so serious that the American Government tried to suppress a report titled
'Cyberwar is Coming' by researchers at RAND, an American think tank, in 1992.
The dangers of Cyber attack lie in the Information Age allowing individuals,
who choose to conceal their identity, to access something valuable electronically
without being detected. A business could be shut down or severely damaged
through this covert access. In May 1998 the L0pht Collective, a group of computer
hackers in Boston USA, testified to a US Senate Committee studying network
'The seven of us could very trivially take down the entire Internet for the
United States......Great Britain......basically stopping communications between
all the major network access providers. That would cause overloads on to the
other transit routes for communication, regular phone lines. It would cause
problems for people trying to move large sums of money that are doing it over
networks......Take about thirty minutes......if that'
Where is this threat coming from?
The generic term used is Hacker - but this merely means someone who has been
able to penetrate any kind of defence. The motives of Hackers vary. Some destroy
data, or there can be criminal intent; others could be terrorists or university
students taking on the challenge. No matter who the Hackers are or their motives
the equipment that is required is readily available and within the purchasing
power of all.
The knowledge required can be found on notice boards posted on the Internet.
Readymade formulae are available to be copied with instructions on how to
dispatch attacks. This allows 'warfare' to be taken out of the national fold
and readily available to groups and individuals at anytime, anywhere in the
The above problem will be compounded by the new Data Protection Act 1998
in the UK which extends the envelope of criminal prosecution against the Directors
of a company that fail to satisfactorily protect their corporate assets, which
has now been defined to include corporate information. Furthermore this type
of legislation is not promoted in the USA creating an anomaly which may also
effect Anglo-American companies who regularly exchange information.
mi2g is a three year old, Central London based e-commerce software
house whose Chairman is Sir Christopher Benson. Sir Christopher has been shaping
the banking and finance sector strategy of mi2g since becoming Chairman
in early 1997.
mi2g's main business to business activities are:
1. On-line Security Systems for Large Corporations using artificial intelligence
2. E-commerce System Design based on high level security and client profiling
3. Subject specific e-commerce lounge development with over 3 Million visitors
4. Internet Marketing Intelligence Software using supercomputing technology
mi2g works with financial institutions in the banking, insurance and
re-insurance sector to develop bespoke e-commerce solutions for large business-to-business
and business-to-consumer projects. mi2g also assists in the proper
assessment and solution of the Cyber Warfare threat faced by organisations
deploying complex computer networks.
mi2g's client list includes companies such as Amazon.com (USA), Cendant Corp
(USA), Department of Trade and Industry (UK Government), Euler (France), First
Premier Bank (USA), Granville Bank (UK), Greek Royal Family, Lloyd's of London
(UK), Nations Bank, Progressive Insurance (USA) and Spydamedia (UK).
Since 1995, mi2g has also been developing an automatic business-to-consumer
e-commerce airport with specific lounges and intelligent ferrets.
carlounge.com, gameslounge.com and lawlounge.com are the
pilots which are now up and running for tests and have 3 million visitors.
The airport, lounges and ferrets are unique technology
to mi2g and its visitors and will function together by the year 2000.
The airport lounges are designed to provide the best price for a product
the visitor desires. They are reverse auction categorised shopping systems
that appear to run uniquely for each visitor via the chosen ferret.
They will work not only in English but also German and French. The lounges
will focus on products such as cars; computer games; personal
finance - investments, insurance, mortgages, loans and other credit
instruments; branded consumer goods - books, music tracks, video and
leisure with travel bookings.
The ferret helps the airport lounge visitors to find and filter
automatically the most cost efficient pre-qualified vendors (such as Amazon.com,
E-Bay, E*Trade etc), of quality goods and services, place an order in high
security, and have the product delivered in the minimum amount of time and
DK Matai, the Founder and Managing Director of mi2g has worked in
the R & D Labs of IBM Inc, Inmos SGS-Thomson SA and OY Helvar-Electrosonic
on Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) Vector Computer Engineering, 200MHz RISC
Processor Design and HDTV Video Wall Development respectively.