The ruling elite of the United States is aware of its country's current vulnerability to the threat of any large-scale digital war. Perhaps this is the main factor hindering the transition of the passive phase of the digital war to the active, associated with the use of offensive, destructive cyber weapons.
Under these conditions, part of the American elite stakes on the conversion of the prevailing superiority of the United States in the field of information and other technologies of the seventh technological structure in the creation of new-generation cyber weapons.
These cyber weapons and information security solutions in the United States are designed to overcome the current asymmetric nature of cyberwarfare and make countries that are potential opponents of the United States defenseless against American cyber power.
Questions of the latest developments in the field of cyber weapons are naturally a secret under seven seals of the American military-industrial complex. However, a careful analysis of the trends in the development of information technologies and US government documents published in the media allow us to draw a number of conclusions on measures taken to achieve undeniable cyber-dominance.
Back in 70-90-s of the last century, in the course of research aimed at creating artificial intelligence conducted in the USSR, the USA and Japan, a mathematical basis and algorithmic basis for the so-called self-improving programs were created, the foundations of genetic and evolutionary programming were laid. A mathematical-algorithmic base was created for developing programs that could teach themselves depending on the signals coming from the external environment and, accordingly, transform in the direction of more efficiently performing their functions. Later, one of the branches of this direction was called "machine learning". In the past century, there was no hardware capability for practical software implementation of this approach. What is called, there was not enough computing power.
In the middle of the last decade, the critical threshold was crossed, and machine learning, as the basis for solving a wide range of tasks, began to actively develop and be implemented on the basis of supercomputers. The most famous demonstration of the capabilities of machine learning and evolutionary programming was the famous Watson. In 2011, the IBM supercomputer defeated the experts, the champions of the American version of Own Game. Currently, Watson is actively used for diagnostic and predictive purposes in health care, insurance, and US national security.
Some experts believe that huge implant networks that perform spy functions, connected to a similar expert system and capable of machine learning, can become combat self-learning cyber programs. Figuratively speaking, by transferring information to the expert system, they receive commands from it, which allow these programs to complete themselves, adapting themselves to the specific parameters of infected computers and networks. According to experts, most likely such programs will be used not so much for destruction, as for the imperceptible interception of control of critical objects and networks of a potential enemy.
In order to move from machine-trained to full-fledged self-modifying and self-organizing programs, it is necessary to use not even today's supercomputers, but the next-generation supercomputers with an even greater degree of speed. In this case, once developed a multi-modular implant program, depending on the specific conditions and challenges, will be able to complete construction of its modules, adapt and prevent actions for its detection or destruction. Moreover, recently, in special scientific journals as well as in the Wall Street Journal, information was published that such self-organizing implant programs will be able to disable objects that are not connected to the Internet at all, but operate in closed networks. Moreover, in these publications it is stated that a method has been found for the penetration of implant programs of this class even into disconnected complex computerized objects, lines, power systems, etc. When these objects go into active mode, the programs implement their destruction or control interception tasks.
To date, the world's most powerful supercomputer is the Chinese Tienha-2. Most of the components of this system were developed in China. However, we must bear in mind that the vast majority of the most powerful supercomputers belong to the United States and, unlike China, are connected into a single distributed network under the auspices of the NSA and the US Department of Energy. But the main thing is not even that. To make the next leap in computing speed, it is necessary to go to the level of nanotechnology. In the summer of this year, the leading American manufacturers of processors for supercomputers announced that by 2015 they could begin production of microprocessors, which are still silicon-based, but with significant use of nanotechnology. Approaching a similar decision and the Japanese.
China, increasing the capacity of supercomputers, while, according to experts, does not have the necessary technological base for the production of processors using nanotechnology. The key issue in ensuring preventive dominance in cyberspace is the ability to decode information protected by special ciphers, transmitted both on the Internet and in the closed networks of potential adversary countries. According to the NSA document promulgated by Snowden, “in the future, superpowers will appear and fall into disrepair, depending on how strong their crypt-analytical programs are. This is the price that the United States must pay to keep unlimited access to the use of cyberspace. ”
For a long time, the Agency has been working on an ongoing basis with IT companies to embed tabs in their products in the interests of the US special services, and is also working to purposefully weaken international data protection algorithms. Since it is American companies that are the suppliers of the overwhelming majority of processors, routers, server infrastructure, etc. used in the world, it becomes clear that today, in the vast majority of countries, including Russia, even closed computer networks are very vulnerable to penetration. and the encryption systems used in large part are transparent to the US special services.
Although the documents published by Snowden contain information that US and UK services can crack any cipher used on the Internet, this, in the opinion of the overwhelming majority of specialists, is not a valid statement. Moreover, the close contacts of the NSA with the manufacturers of the hard, in which they seek to embed appropriate bookmarks, once again confirms this opinion.
The problem is that the capacity of the current supercomputers, even in the form of a distributed network, is not enough to confidently crack the most sophisticated ciphers used in government communications and communications of special services of information-advanced countries of the world, including Russia.
However, the situation will change with the advent of the quantum computer. Actually, one of the most important tasks of quantum computers consists precisely in breaking into any cipher created on traditional, pre-quantum computers. To date, mathematically proved the validity of such a statement of the problem. Against a quantum computer, all pre-quantum encryption systems are powerless.
Although quantum computers themselves do not yet exist, numerous algorithms have already been created for them, and literally this year, on the instructions of IARPA, the Quipper programming language has been developed. Work on the practical creation of a quantum computer is being carried out in the United States as part of the Quantum Computer Science (QCS) IARPA project.
It is important to understand the fundamental difference between IARPA and DARPA. Among other things, it consists in the fact that DARPA projects are related to the field of dual technologies, provide for notification of the developers of various projects and their results. All information on IARPA projects, except for their names and conditions, is secret.
In 2013, a breakthrough was also made in the hardware component of a quantum computer. Google, together with NASA, launched the D-Wave Two quantum module as part of a network of supercomputers. This is not yet a full-fledged quantum computer, but when performing complex calculations with more than 500 parameters, its power is thousands of times greater than the performance of the best supercomputers from the Top-500 list.
According to Google’s careful statements in the next two to three years, they are going to create a network that includes several similar modules that work together with ordinary supercomputers, which in terms of their aggregate capabilities will come close to or be equal to a full-fledged quantum computer.
When this happens, among other things, any encrypted traffic will be completely open and freely readable, and self-developing programs will allow in these conditions to freely put under control any objects and networks of potential adversaries. Thereby virtually unlimited dominance in cyberspace will be achieved. The electronic networks of the enemy at any time can be destroyed or placed under the complete control of a cybeagressor possessing the software and hardware described above. Thus, cyberwar will end before it starts.
But that's not all. In the summer of 2013, despite the revelations of the NSA and the American intelligence community, a number of meetings were held in the United States to raise the level of cybernetic national security. For the first time ever history The issue of creating a general American electronic wall - firewall was seriously discussed. In this case, all Internet traffic coming in from abroad would be subjected to deep packet inspection, and any suspicious packets would be blocked just as the great Chinese firewall blocks unwanted sites. Participants in the discussion came to the point of view that this would be the best way, but decided that such an approach would be impossible to put into practice because of American realities. However, the hysteria about Chinese and Russian hackers cited in the report of American public opinion polls and corporate executives, as well as the hysteria fueled by the media, can create fertile soil for practical steps in this direction.
According to an analysis conducted by open sources by experts from the Center for Military and Industrial Policy of the United States Institute and Canada, the Americans embarked on deploying autonomous satellite groups that provide secure electronic communications and deploying a missile defense system aimed not only against terrorists, but against potential American competitors in space.
Satellite constellations are designed to create a secure electronic communications system parallel to the modern Internet, tied to a supercomputing system with quantum components put into space. Another part of the orbital satellite groupings is intended to disable the telecommunications and electronic networks of opponents that can function in the event of a forced shutdown of the conventional Internet. Finally, the missile defense system should block launches of enemy missiles aimed at orbital groups and the space platform with a central quantum or quantum-like supercomputer.
This raises the problem of the development of cyberspace of containment.
Recently, Vladimir Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that "The work carried out under the leadership of Academician Gennady Month was allowed to create generators that emit very short and powerful pulses. Their peak power reaches billions of watts, which is comparable to the power of a nuclear power plant. This is more than 10 times more foreign achievements. " This generator can be placed on the carrier, launched into space on a low orbit or in a mobile version on the ground, or even on a submarine near the shores of a potential enemy. The use of such a generator makes it possible to obtain a powerful electromagnetic pulse directed, capable of completely destroying any electronics, regardless of its protection on very large areas. Moreover, there are calculations showing the possibility of disabling using the system of these generators of the power system, telecommunications, electronic networks, including the Internet, in various countries of the world, including the USA.
What conclusions can be drawn from the above analysis and the current foreign policy situation?
1. The events around Syria show that Russia's geopolitical rivals have no moral restrictions on the implementation of any aggressive plans and provocations of the most monstrous type (with the destruction of the civilian population by chemical weapons to justify the start of the war against a sovereign country, bypassing international law). Therefore, the early implementation of the concept of creating Russian cyber war in the structure of the armed forces and the development of cyber weapon deterrence is in the modern period no less important a state task than to maintain the nuclear potential in combat readiness.
2. The information explosion associated with the publication in public of the top-secret materials of Snowden about the ongoing cyber war by the US special services against Russia and other countries, and the technologies used in this process, sets the task of making serious corrections to the state cybersecurity policy. We are talking about the revision of strategic documents, increasing budget funding, accelerated and high-quality training, capable of leading the confrontation in cyberspace.
3. Containment of digital wars of the 21st century is impossible without the development of basic scientific research of the most diverse directions. Apparently, the process of implementing fundamental scientific research will continue to be focused primarily on military objectives in order to achieve superiority over a potential adversary. Moreover, the speed of the realization of fundamental discoveries in applied military purposes in the context of the ongoing information revolution will steadily increase. Therefore, state budget investments in basic research should be qualitatively increased.
The Slogan of the Coming Decade: "DIGITAL VICTORY OR DEATH!"