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This Is Going To Get Interesting

In past columns here and elsewhere, I've been pretty derisive of the notions of "cyberterror" and "cyberwar." Most particularly, I think cyberwar is probably not a useful adjunct to the toolbox of statecraft. But, in discussions about cyberterror, I've always admitted that I'm puzzled by how little creativity has been shown in that arena. That may be about to change, and for the weirdest of reasons.

The full story hasn't been told, yet, but apparently AT&T decided that the amount of traffic/amount of attacks/general tastelessness/whatever of 4chan was just too much to bear, and began blocking traffic to a few of the 4chan servers.

AT&T Blocks 4chan, Stirs Internet Hornet's Nest
http://www.pcworld.com/article/169079/atandt_blocks_4chan_stirs_internet_hornets_nest.html

What everone at AT&T appears to have forgotten is that the people who hang out at 4chan are amused by, and capable of, a great deal of creative mayhem. Example: it didn't take very long at all before there was a fake press release on Digg, announcing the death of AT&T CEO.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was found dead in his multimillion dollar beachfront mansion, say official sources. 
http://digg.com/tech_news/AT_T_CEO_Dead_outside_his_home_iReport_com?OTC-kff

Disinformation, coupled with a "meat cloud" to diggbot the fake report, and it's possible that AT&T's stock will take a hit. When you're a publicly-traded company, a little hit can equate to a lot of bleeding. As I said, this is going to get interesting. It's already, by far, a vastly more intellectually sophisticated attack than the usual "let's get a big botnet and do some DDOS" nonsense. As of right now, the attack doesn't appear to have worked.

A few years ago, some of us were discussing the potential for using asymmetric attacks to produce a "death of a thousand cuts"-style campaign. This could be the beginning of a very interesting chain of events.

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