When Does a 'Hacker' Become an 'Attacker?'   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the thesis abstract: "The ability to defend the United States cyber sovereign territory is a must for the country to continue to enjoy relative freedom. The actual defense of this is far more difficult than the traditional defense of land, sea or air space. The Internet offers an environment of exponential growth in both technology and users. Couple this with an infantile and developing governing system and the Internet is both a conduit for use and a vehicle for attack. The history of cyber attack is key in determining the ability to defend and the mode in which to do it. By tracing the capabilities of adversaries, both internal and external, we can attempt to delineate the point where the electronic intrusion becomes alarming to the nation. Combine this understanding with a thorough knowledge of current methodologies and tools used for cyber attack and one has a good jump on 'knowing one's enemy.' Constraining, yet legitimizing, the effort of governments to fight the unbounded attack of cyber warriors are laws and agreements which attempt to lay ground rules for cyber utilization. Careful construction of these rules joined with vigilant international agreements can facilitate apprehension and thwarting of would-be attackers worldwide. Laws which are drafted without thought to the defense of information systems can be equally as damaging to the government that adopts them. This monograph concludes with the current efforts underway by the United States government and the Department of Defense in particular, Presidential Decision Directives 62 and 63 posture the United States for success in combating cyber aggression. The follow through by the legislative, judiciary branches and various departments will determine the success of this country in securing its national information infrastructure."

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U.S. Army Command and General Staff College: http://www.cgsc.edu/
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