Some key events in the history of cyber warfare

1979: The first hacker forum emerges from a crude electronic messaging board.

1994: Russian Vladimir Levin leads a group of hackers that steals millions of dollars from Citibank though its dial-up wire transfer service.

March 1999: Hackers in Serbia attack NATO systems in retaliation for NATO’s military intervention in Kosovo.

May 1999: NATO accidentally bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, spawning a wave of cyberattacks from China against U.S. government Web sites.

2003: Hackers begin a series of assaults on U.S. government computer systems that lasts for years. The government code names the attacks Titan Rain and eventually traces them to China.

April-May 2007: Hackers believed to be linked to the Russian government bring down the Web sites of Estonia’s parliament, banks, ministries, newspapers and broadcasters.

June-July 2008: Hundreds of government and corporate Web sites in Lithuania are hacked, and some are covered in digital Soviet-era graffiti, implicating Russian nationalist hackers.

August 2008: Cyber attackers hijack government and commercial Web sites in Georgia during a military conflict with Russia.

January 2009: Attacks shut down at least two of Kyrgyzstan’s four Internet service providers during political squabbling among Russia, the ruling Kyrgyzstan party and an opposition party.

April 2009: An attack on neighboring Kazakhstan shuts down a popular news Web site.

October 2009: The new U.S. Cyber Command is scheduled to begin overseeing the protection of military networks from cyber threats.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.