The Age Of Code War

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Now that many years had passed since the world witnessed the dusk of the Cold War, there was a need to divulge the destructive energies of different nations into some other form of engaging battle. Apparently a peaceful life is too sober an idea for any nation today. Who needs absolute peace anyways? Some action always does well. Gone are the good days when any hot-headed, power-craving, inhumane monster of a nation could just walk into territories, far beyond their realms and loot and plunder and colonise. Why did the great British Empire, the so-called civilizing agent of the world, do just that and it still takes great pride in it? But the greatest victim of the fall of the “colonisation” empire, was the United States of America, that had to devise new plots, coup d’états, world policies etc. to gain access to any country’s internal matters. For a few decades the U.S made do with the Cold War with the Russians. But it again suffered a great blow when the Soviet Union fell in 1991. Ever since it has found new ways to tease and tag the poorer middle-east nations. But after so many decades of active and passive involvement with the Cold War, the nations of the world have tasted blood. And it is delicious. The obsession of taking sides and getting into brawls is getting the better of them. That is why they have resorted to a new kind of war – the Code War. Cyberspace is the new battleground and different players are trying everything in their hands to squeeze out the last drops of confidential information regarding defence, finance, trade, scientific developments or anything in general.

U.S.A is leading the charge yet again, with the maximum contribution to the Code War. In fact the number of espionage charges on the U.S.A (courtesy Edward Snowden, the great whistleblower) single-handedly outweighs the espionage cases by the rest of the world. Recently, the U.S blamed the Russian hackers for attacking their financial system in mid-August this year, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and at least one another bank. . The U.S also blamed the Chinese for an attack on the corporate headquarters of Google in 2010 and 34 other companies including Yahoo, and Adobe Systems to name a few. The Chinese have however denied these accusations, dismissing the charges as the result of “sinophobic paranoia”. China has in turn blamed the U.S for espionage on Chinese universities, business and politicians.

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, find themselves yet again in the “developing” nations list in the Code War, much like the case of economy, health facilities, education and many more. The recent spats along the Line of Control were duly carried forward by the netizens of India and Pakistan. The hacker community of both these nations got into an ugly face-off with Pakistan hacking and defacing the website of the Press Club of India (PCI) and the Indian hacker group, “Indian Hackers Online Squad” hacked and defaced the website of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in response to the inflammatory remarks made by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari about Kashmir. Earlier, in response to the attack on Malayalam Actor Mohanlal’s website, a group called “The Mallu Soldiers” defaced the website of Pakistan’s National University of Modern Languages. The websites of Quaid-e-Azam Public College in Gujranwala, Pakistan Electric Power Company (Private) Limited and National Manpower Bureau were also among the sites hacked by anonymous Indian hackers. Bangladeshi hackers have been in action with their Pakistani counterparts for some years now. Blaming a Pakistani hacker named Shadow008 for attacking the Bangladeshi government’s website, three hackers named Cr4ck-Br4iN, RoTatingRoTor and Ablaze EVER, hacked and defaced the Punjab Assembly site. “This is PayBakTo Shadow008 For Hacking Our Bangladeshi Sites!” read the text on the defaced site. Apparently Pakistan has been on a pretty active mode. Their hackers have hacked into as many as 400 Chinese government websites and web pages. A hacker by the name of Code Cracker of the “Pakistan Cyber Army” is said to be responsible for the act.

It can safely be derived that the Code War has engulfed the entire world, much like a video game. There are old and experienced players and some relatively new players. With reports of cyber-attacks coming in everyday, the governments of different nations should wake up. Though there are international resolutions (2002 UN General Assembly resolution on the criminal misuse of information technology) against cyber-crime, those aren’t implemented in full measure. It is an absolutely essential matter of security violation and should not be dismissed as a fancy web-game. If strict measures aren’t taken in this regard we will get to hear of more cases of websites being hacked of famous singers, actors, businessmen, politicians etc.

Till then – Cold War is passé. Code War is in!

Rizwanur Rahman

Image Source [https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6008/6203294458_ba80ed8cf2_b.jpg]

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