Ellen Nakashima has been doing some excellent reporting on the offensive side of cyber. Some interesting tidbits from this latest piece lend support to Thomas Rid’s thesis that the more destructive a cyberweapon, the more expensive and difficult to build:
[U.S. military officials] estimated that crafting a cyberweapon would have taken about a year, including the time needed to assess the target system for vulnerabilities. … Even if an operator gains access, he said, “unless you already have custom-written code for a system, chances are we don’t have a weapon for that because each system has different software and updates.”
Also, this interesting nugget about one of the events most often cited as evidence of cyberwar:
Some experts believe that Israel may have used a cyberweapon to blind Syrian radar before bombing a suspected nuclear facility in September 2007, but several former U.S. officials say that the technique more likely used was conventional electronic warfare or radar jamming using signals emitted from an airplane.
And this is fascinating:
Officials are researching cyberweapons that can target “offline” military systems in part by harnessing emerging technology that uses radio signals to insert computer coding into networks remotely.