World War III Update: Cyberattack on Russia could trigger global war

By @vitthernandez on
Citadel Botnet Attacks
Vishant Patel, senior manager of investigations at the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, shows a heat map and talks about how malicious computer networks known as the Citadel Botnets attack computers in Western Europe at the Microsoft Cybercrime Center in Redmond, Washington November 11, 2013. Reuters/Jason Redmond

The likely trigger to World War III is a Russian air attack on Aleppo which could spark a nuclear war between the two superpowers. However, Friday’s distributed denial of service (DDoS), which affected half of the internet in the US, could also trigger a global war.

In a tweet, the hacker group New World Hackers claim responsibility for the Friday DDoS, although its claim is not verified. The group says the incident was just a dry run and their next, but bigger target, is Russia, Morning Ledger reports.

The plan to attack Russia’s internet is to get even for Kremlin’s alleged cyberattacks on the US in earlier part of 2016. “Twitter was kind of the main target. It showed people who doubted us what we were capable of doing, plus we got our chance to see our capability,” Prophet, the codename of the hacker, tweets.

Charismanews reports that the Department of Homeland Security is looking into the massive DDoS but has ruled out North Korea as suspect, leaving China and Russia as potential suspects.  The three communist nations, over the years, have been developing their extreme advanced cyberwarfare capabilities, with Russia as early as 2007.

Dr David Stupples, director of the Centre for Cyber Security Sciences at City University London, says that since 2007, Russia decided to win any world conflict, information warfare is the key. “It was this area of capability and technology they decided would benefit from vastly increased military investment,” Stupples explains.

He adds it was easy to make that decision because Russia has the largest number of the world’s best hackers. Many observers believe Russia is better prepared to fight a cyber war with the US which Washington is allegedly provoking into a cyber fight which could result in a loss for the US.

NBC News cites US intelligence officials as saying the federal government is considering launching an unprecedented covert action against Russia as retaliation for alleged Kremlin interference in the US presidential election. The CIA has reportedly been tapped to deliver options to the White House.

It quotes Vice President Joe Biden as telling Chuck Todd, moderator of “Meet the Press,” on Friday that Washington is sending a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that “it will be at the time of our choosing and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”