Hezbollah's Cyber Warfare Program

Hezbollah's Cyber Warfare Program
Hezbollah's Cyber Warfare Program

Forwarded from: Anonymous 

By Kevin Coleman
June 2, 2008

Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff warned that the 
Hezbollah resistance movement is the greatest threat to US national 
security. Hezbollah is known or suspected to have been involved in 
numerous terror attacks against the U.S., Israel or other Western 
targets, and includes the 1983 suicide truck bombings in Beirut that 
killed 241 U.S. Marines at their barracks and 58 at the French military 
barracks. Intelligence officials in the U.S. and Britain believe 
Hezbollah cells may use their computer expertise and capabilities to 
launch cyber attacks.

A 2002 CIA report warned a number of terrorist groups are beginning to 
plan attacks on western computer networks. The report went on to say 
that al-Qaeda and Hezbollah were becoming more adept at using the 
internet and computer technologies. In more recent reports they name 
Sunni extremists Hezbollah and Aleph as groups believed to be developing 
cyber terrorism plans. For terrorist groups, cyber weapons are cheap, 
easy to acquire and difficult to detect or track and are quickly 
becoming a common weapon in their arsenal.

While Hezbollah's capabilities to launch such an attack are 
questionable, the intelligence community in U.S., Britain and Israeli 
are taking the threat seriously. Why, because Hezbollah showed its 
increasing technological sophistication and capabilities during its war 
with Israel back in 2006. Once Israel began bombing Hezbollah targets, 
the intelligence sources say cyber space began. While intelligence 
analysts are convinced conventional terror remains Hezbollah's main 
strategy and weapon, some believe that it could activate sleeper cells 
in order to open a second front in cyber space. Intelligence sources 
know that terrorist groups including Hezbollah, the Abu Nidal 
Organization, and UBL's Al-Qeida Organization are using computerized 
files, email, and encryption to support their operations.

Hezbollah Profile (AKA Hizbollah, Hizbu'llah)
Established In the 1980s
Home Base: Lebanon, but it also has cells in North/South America,
Asia, Europe and Africa.
Support: Iran and Syria provide substantial organizational, training
and financing.
Orientation: Hezbollah is a radical Iranian-backed Lebanese Islamic Shiite group
Funding: estimated at $60 million annually
Size: Hezbollah's core consists of several thousand militants and activists
Equipment: Hezbollah possesses up-to-date information technologies -
broadband wireless networks and computers.
Cyber Capabilities: Global Rating in Cyber Capabilities -- Tied at Number 37

Hezbollah has been able to engage in fiber optic cable tapping,
enabling data interception and the hijacking of Internet and
communication connections.
Cyber Warfare Budget: $935,000 USD
Offensive Cyber Capabilities: 3.1 (1 = Low, 3 = Moderate and 5 = Significant)
Cyber Weapons Rating: Basic -- but developing intermediate capabilities
Web Site: or 
Ties: Hezbollah has close ties with Iran. Many believe that Hezbollah
is a surrogate for the Iranian army
Fact: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared May 8, 2008 that the
Shiite militant group's communications network is its most important
weapon, and that the government's decision to target the network was
tantamount to a declaration of war. In Hezbollah's view, its
communications technology is just as essential for the group's
survival as its missiles.

Hezbollah is on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist 
organizations. The FBI says it now considers Hezbollah operatives more 
capable and robust than even Al Qaeda terrorists. With Hezbollah's 
interest in developing advanced cyber weapons, their capabilities will 
continue to increase. As we have seen, the proliferation of cyber 
weapons is rapidly expanding and no longer limited to nation states and 
organized criminal groups. The cyber arms club now includes terrorist 
groups. Using new hacking techniques, taking advantage of security 
vulnerabilities and using simple proven cyber attack methods, terrorists 
have the capability to attack us in way not seen before. Key 
infrastructure systems that include utilities, banking, media/TV 
systems, telecommunications and air traffic control systems have already 
been compromised. No one knows if cyber terrorists created trap doors 
and left logic bombs allowing them to easily bypass security systems and 
disrupt our critical infrastructure in coordination with traditional 
style attacks.

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