Tuesday, February 22, 2011

VOA Must Be Working! Hacked by Iranians?

The Voice of America (VOA) has been in the news lately. An Iranian group is claiming responsibility for hacking the VOA website (www.voanews.com). The screen shot along with this post speaks for itself.

Reactions by your enemy are always worth noting. In this case a faction of Islamists has claimed responsibility for hacking the VOA. The logical conclusion is that VOA has been effective to the point where the hackers felt they needed to attack.

The VOA has been in the news recently as President Obama is in the process of cutting some of their funding as part of his overall program to reduce government spending. It has been argued that shortwave communications in the day of the Internet and the smart phone is a technological buggy whip.

There are a couple of good takeaways here:

1. Influence operations cross media to accomplish their goals. In this case the Iranians are attempting to counter VOA by bringing their website down – a cyber means against a broadcast medium.

2. The notion of political influence is not lost on our adversaries as Secretary Clinton is personally addressed in the hack –

3. Sometimes it’s not really possible to know what effect your influence operations are having. In this case can we assume that the VOA is so effective as to earn the ire of the cyber savvy adversary?

4. The military principle “Unity of Command” dictates that a single CDR direct an operation. I am highly skeptical that a single entity, much less an accountable CDR has the responsibility of tracking this hack and addressing the effectiveness of the group taking credit.

Truly we live in interesting times.

Other sources: ttp://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-4521-Iranian+hackers+target+VOA+website/news.aspx; and http://www.thenewnewinternet.com/2011/02/22/iranian-cyber-army-suspected-of-hacking-voice-of-america/

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