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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Only worry about 'boot on the ground'? Retaliation against America will likely be waged by multiple nations in cyberwar

By Mark Clayton


Hacker Typing On A Laptop from Bigstock



Syria's allies and sympathizers -- including Russia and Iran -- could pose a formidable cyber threat to the US, experts say



JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) Cyberattacks to neutralize Syrian targets, such as its anti-aircraft radar systems, are likely be part of any US-led effort to bomb or assault the Assad regime. Yet Syria and its sympathizers are equally likely to launch retaliatory cyberstrikes against US targets, say experts in cyberconflict.

The US has had a cyber bead drawn on Syria for well over a year now, plenty long enough to infiltrate and compromise key Syrian military systems, several experts say. But to what degree the US will use that capability is far from clear, especially since it might not be needed to accomplish its key goals.

Still, many experts say it is quite likely cyberweapons will be launched. Some even suggest using them would be a good idea, adding the US should tell the world what is happening so it can be shown that such weapons can be used responsibly without killing people.

"There's this mystique about cyberweapons — but nobody's ever died from a cyberattack," says Jason Healey director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, an international diplomacy think tank in Washington. "Here the US has the opportunity not only to show how cyberweapons can be utilized responsibly under the laws of war ... [but also to] display how such weapons are more humanitarian than bombs that kill people."

Michael Clarke, director-general of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London, says it's clear any conflict with Syria is going to have a major cyber component.

"Cyberwarfare would likely play a more prominent role in an intervention in Syria than in any conflict to date," he wrote in an analysis last year. "Cyber techniques are anonymous, deniable, inexpensive, increasingly effective, and comparatively risk-free, certainly in terms of own casualties. This makes them attractive in this highly complex, precarious, and fraught situation."

Syria's own offensive cyber capabilities are believed to be quite limited, including those of the Syrian Electronic Army hacktivist group it supports. In recent years the SEA has targeted websites of news media perceived as critical of Syria. Last month the hacktivist group knocked The New York Times site down for a day.

Knocking down websites is considered more of a nuisance than a threat to the US or its operations. Yet anti-American hacktivists worldwide could support Syria and its SEA. Add to that the possibility that Syria's nation-state allies could join in — with unpredictable results.

"A cyberattack against the US from Syria is a significant area of concern that we need to be prepared for," says Frank J. Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The US government is doubtless sending warnings to operators of US critical infrastructure, such as the power grid, to be on guard for cyberattacks, he and others say.

Yet if Syria's capabilities alone are modest, some Syrian allies with much more formidable offensive cyberwar capabilities — such as Russia and Iran — are far more dangerous cyber foes. Any cyberbattle that manages to draw in either of those nations could become suddenly much more dangerous for the US, these experts say.

"The Syrians clearly don't have the capabilities some nations have," Dr. Cilluffo says. "But what they lack in capability they make up for in intent. They can rent or buy capability. Obviously the level of escalation changes if Iran, Hezbollah, or Russia come into the fray."

Iran and Russia, however, each have strong reasons to avoid becoming embroiled in any conflict with the US. Iran's new president is trying anew to start up international talks on its nuclear program and lift economic sanction. But Iran's cyber militia is believed to be behind ongoing cyberattacks against US banks.

Since 2010, repeated cyberattacks have targeted the Iranian nuclear program, with considerable damage. As a result, Iran has made significant investments in offensive cyber capabilities, spending more than $1 billion since 2011, according to congressional testimony in March by Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council. Iran now boasts the "fourth largest" cyberforce in the world, including its regime-aligned "cyber army" of hacktivists under the control of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Mr. Berman testified.

Iran has also been blamed for an attack on Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, that destroyed some 30,000 computer work stations with a computer virus.

Russia, meanwhile, remains at odds with the US over NSA leaker Edward Snowden, and relations are cool. Still, President Vladimir Putin likely wants to avoid any serious conflicts that may harm his country's economy, experts say.

Even with these serious reservations, however, Russia or Iran could under certain circumstances be induced to take a cyber shot at the US, especially if they believed the attack could not be attributed to them, they say.

"With Russia it's a political decision about whether or not they would let their cyber criminals help out Syria," says James Lewis, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "Or, you know, if the US accidentally killed some Russian in Syria that could change the equation."

Iran and Russia could also feel driven to a cyberattack on US targets if either became seriously afraid that an ongoing US strike was threatening the Assad regime's survival. If so, "that could justify a bigger fight with America involving cyber action," Dr. Lewis says.

Another critical element: Neither Iran nor Russia are likely to jump into a US-Syria cyber fracas unless their leaders believe the Internet's anonymity, or a proxy, will shield them from being tagged as the culprit and so avoid US retribution.

"Iran would like to do this, possibly, but only if they have assurances that it is not traceable," says Hayat Alvi, an associate professor in the national security affairs department at the US Naval War College in Newport, R.I. "It's not in Iran's interest to be in a cyber or kinetic war with the US — far too risky, too devastating. But they can certainly try to do things through proxies like Hezbollah or the SEA."


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There is precedent for a cyberstrike on Syria. Israel in 2007 flew jets into Syria through its Russian-made radar defenses to bomb the nuclear reactor it was building. The bombers got through unscathed in part because Israel penetrated a cyber backdoor in the Syrian radar system, feeding it code that caused the radar to read all clear to its operators who never saw the Israelis coming.

Despite that past success, there are some good reasons to believe the US might do less with cyberweapons in Syria than some expect. For one thing, cyberweapons, once used, are usually no good anymore. If there is a vulnerability still in the Russian-made Syrian radar, for example, it might be better to hang onto that capability for another time when that attack system is more needed.

Indeed, because the American military has already lost the element of surprise in the pending attack on Syria, it's much less likely to deploy cyberweapons en masse, says John Bumgarner, research director for the US Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit group that studies cyberconflict.

The US military will be utilizing stealth aircraft and ground-hugging missiles, some of which will destroy Syrian air defenses in the first few minutes of the conflict. Some of these air defense systems could still be cyber targets, he notes.

"While the US military has the capability to conduct preparatory or supporting cyberstrikes on Syrian targets, it's unlikely that these strikes would provide the US military with a greater tactical advantage than they already have," Mr. Bumgarner says in a phone interview. "Unfortunately, a cyberstrike against a Syrian air defense system doesn't guarantee its elimination from the battlefield, but a missile strike does."

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