From Sticks and Stones to Zeros and Ones: The Development of Computer Network Operations as an Element of Warfare. A Study of the Palestinian-Israeli Cyberconflict and What the United States Can Learn from the "Interfada"
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The Palestinian-Israeli Cyberconflict erupted in 2000, when Israeli hackers crippled the prime website of Hezbollah by mobilizing pro-Israeli supporters to bomb the site with automated floods of electronic mail. In retaliation, Hezbollah rallied pro-Arab supporters for a counter-attack, which soon downed the main Israeli government website and the Israeli Foreign Ministry site. Attacks involving website defacements, denial-of-service, viruses, and Trojan horses occurred by both parties for a span of months, effectively shutting down websites, disrupting Internet service and e-commerce. A study and analysis of the utilization and effects of Computer Network Operations CNO between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian actors during the al-Aqsa Intifada may highlight current trends in warfare, support the notion that information may level the battlefield, and provide the United States with the means to better protect itself against such attacks in the future. This thesis seeks to collect, classify, analyze, define, and resolve IOIW the utilization and effects of CNO during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, and how such analysis can be applied to United States national security.