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Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Synopsis of Cyber Warfare & Terrorism

1. Introduction
As technology is driving internet, Cyber space is expanding where virtually everything is possible from 3D animation to remote /open networking to e-banking to entertainment. With the advent of better technologies and systems, life has been a comfort to see and communicate in doing activities at both personal and professional level from one part of the world to the other. This open access and flexibility of the Internet has not only slaved people in enjoying the benefits of technologies but on the other hand the same accessibility is also threatening the system with inevitable threats like virus, worms, hacking, identity theft, copy rights issues and everlasting frauds and scams are tolling up. The dynamics of the open cyber space has not only connected the world in terms of speed, and accessibility but on contrary has also facilitated the wrong doers in effectively channelizing their knowledge to achieve their selfish motive by manipulating the global network in desired way.
However, the interconnection of network that started from a room, today hold the power to connect the world where one’s existence is broaden within the virtual identity of seeing and feeling oneself in the 3D animation world of second life which is simply mind boggling. Amazing yet exciting, everything is virtually possible in its dimensions which plays with in the matrix of specific codes.
The expansion of cyber space not only gives space to greater efficacy of sharing and better business opportunity but perversely it has lured different externalities which are creating nuisance proving threat to security online. Perhaps, one might feel secure about one’s status but in cyber space nothing is impossible. It is just the possibilities that are suppressed by the knowledge and experience of codes and skills where feeling secured is a theoretical definition that bites reality. Today, Cyber space is not just a platform of information access, it has adapted to a proactive version where different micro and macro elements, ranging from commercialization to technology to terrorism harbor their ultimate dimension of opportunities and possibilities.
Like such Cyber Warfare & Cyber Terrorism are some of the burning issues which threats the cyberspace and its operations.
2. Background
Cyber warfare and terrorism is the modern transcended version of insecurities of abuse and exploitation within the limitation of terrorizing adapting the modern form of technology and advancement. Reality is Cyber Warfare is a form of attack on a system from various ways making it convey a message or any form of message. Cyber Terrorism is a form of fear and dread utilizing the means of Internet to attack or hack computer systems of significance for acquiring top secret data or making it obsolete. Likewise, within the flexibility and accessibility of open network, terrorist groups are increasingly adapting the power of modern communications technology for planning, recruiting, propaganda purposes, enhancing communications, command and control, fund raising and funds transfer, information gathering, and the same. The true threat of cyber terrorism and warfare is not only aspiring in cyber space for its illegal act of taking control but alternatively is exploiting and manipulating people’s psychology using the elements of discrimination, racialism, terror etc , which further is dividing people and creating differences. Some of the examples of cyber terrorism and warfare are mentioned below:

Estonia Cyber Attack 2007/2008
Cyber attacks on Estonia (also known as the Estonian Cyber war) refers to a series of cyber attacks that began April 27, 2007 and swamped websites of Estonian organizations, including Estonian parliament, banks, ministries, newspapers and broadcasters, amid the country's row with Russia about the relocation of the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn, an elaborate Soviet-era grave marker, as well as war graves in Tallinn. Most of the attacks that had any influence on the general public were distributed denial of service type attacks ranging from single individuals using various low-tech methods like ping floods to expensive rentals of botnets usually used for spam distribution. Spamming of bigger news portals commentaries and defacements including that of the Estonian Reform Party website also occurred.
Some observers reckoned that the onslaught on Estonia was of a sophistication not seen before. The case is studied intensively by many countries and military planners as, at the time it occurred, it may have been the second-largest instance of state-sponsored cyber warfare, following Titan Rain. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet accused the Kremlin of direct involvement in the cyber attacks. On September 6, 2007 Estonia's defense minister admitted he had no evidence linking cyber attacks to Russian authorities. "Of course, at the moment, I cannot state for certain that the cyber attacks were managed by the Kremlin, or other Russian government agencies," Jaak Aaviksoo said in interview on Estonian's Kanal 2 TV channel. Aaviksoo compared the cyber attacks with the blockade of Estonia's Embassy in Moscow. "Again, it is not possible to say without doubt that orders (for the blockade) came from the Kremlin, or that, indeed, a wish was expressed for such a thing there," said Aaviksoo. Russia called accusations of its involvement "unfounded," and neither NATO nor European Commission experts were able to find any proof of official Russian government participation. As of January 2008, one ethnic-Russian Estonian national has been charged and convicted.
During a panel discussion on cyber warfare, Sergei Markov of the Russian State Duma has stated his unnamed aide was responsible in orchestrating the cyber attacks. Markov alleged the aide acted on his own while residing in an unrecognized republic of former Soviet Union, possibly Transnistria. On March 10, 2009 Konstantin Goloskokov, a "commissar" of Kremlin-backed youth group Nashi has claimed responsibility for the attack.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_cyberattacks_on_Estonia)
Twitter Attack 2009
As Twitter struggled to return to normal Wednesday evening, a trickle of details suggested that the outage that left 30 million users unable to use the micro-blogging service for several hours - at least in part - may have been the result of a spam campaign that targeted a single user who vocally supports the Republic of Georgia.
According to Bill Woodcock, research director at the non-profit Packet Clearing House, the torrent of traffic that brought the site to its knees wasn't the result of a traditional DDoS, or distributed denial of service attack, but rather people who clicked on a link in spam messages that referenced a well-known blogger called Cyxymu.
(Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/07/twitter_attack_theory/)
South Korean Attacks
South Korea is experiencing a third wave of suspected cyber-attacks - co-ordinate attempts to paralyze a number of major websites. One of the country's biggest banks, a leading national newspaper and the South Korean spy agency appear to have been targeted. Some reports suggest the attacks might be the work of North Korea. South Korea and the US reported similar attacks earlier in the week, with the White House and the Pentagon targeted. The South Korean government, and the country's internet service providers, are still trying to fight off what appears to be a deliberate attempt to shut down major websites that began earlier this week. In what is known as a "denial of service" attack, thousands of virus-infected computers are hijacked and simultaneously directed to a particular site, overwhelming it with the sheer volume of traffic.
(Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8142282.stm)

3. Cyber Warfare

Technically speaking, Cyber Warfare refers to any considerable act using computers and engaging in warfare activities by any means in targeting or causing any harm to the websites or groups in cyberspace with a selfish motive is called Cyber Warfare. This includes vandalizing websites, circulating false information, misguiding and rejection of service attacks, creating false accusation and propagandas, and gathering classified data in the cyber space.
Cyber warfare is overcoming the expectation of researchers and security analysts in every possible way posing a high level threat to any country. With high strategic target results and precision, its use should not be underestimated as it is highly flexible and hard to detect. The low cost allows training or hiring a team capable of doing more damage than battle fields. Moreover, the digitizations of conventional warfare technologies as well as the development of new Artificial Intelligence weapons with more complex devices jeopardize the security as well as opens risk of cyber warfare in expanding and strategizing the cyber attackers to strategize their plans within the loop holes.
Previously, when strategic battle operations were performed manually on papers and then in action have further taken a step ahead where the new development of weaponry have substituted the older version with effective technological advancement of Global Positioning Satellite(GPS) and Smart computers. The operation which were once carried out by human operators with average success rate of 70% have exceeded to 99.9% with unmanned Artificial Intelligence and smart computers. The precision rate not only shows the success of artificial intelligence but reluctantly shows the great risk of control and management of such system.
The cyber space not only gives space for entertainment but on contrary shares the same with highly sophisticated weapons of mass destruction which are connected to each other by cyber space and relative technologies. So with just a loop hole, massive cyber attacks can take form of a cyber warfare where time ticks with no option except to wait for consequences.
Reality is we are gaining power in developing weapons of smart technology which are much more faster, efficient and precise but we fail to address the question at what cost or risk. We can calculate the damage that these weapons can result in but what if the table turns the way round and the same system which were develop to fight against terror goes in control of such people. This is an important question which hunts every security analyst and is a curial issue regarding cyber security.
Realizing, the technological advancement, cyber space has been the most happening business opportunity for any field from economy to finance to industries. Especially in developing countries where the booming of internet is being grasped with higher effectiveness, posses a high threat to the people of that region. As technological advancement are being adapted with greater effectiveness, the attacker (hackers) are also gaining technological advancement to the level where they are much faster, better and precise than any security system. The basic problem that has been encountered in most of the developing countries is acceptance of technology seems very easy but maintaining its substance is a question. The problem arises when the system gets manipulated by attackers in desired way due to lack of proper infrastructure. And in most cases the country lacks to address the issue of cyber policies and proper mechanism where problems like cyber exploitation, child abuse and pornography, Hacking and Virus and scam takes its toll. When not addressed with effective measures, it just results like giving a knife to a kid. The possibilities that can be imagined are endless. So the effectiveness of internet takes the form of threat where at times these vacuums of system loop holes can take the form of cyber attacks and the consequences can be irreversible and most damaging.
For example, hacking the main control system of a dam and opening the gates of a dam is a technological possible to the modern society where the technologies threats the society. The consequence can be carnage of thousands of innocent people. Similarly, releasing weapons of mass destruction may have catastrophic results.
Likewise, Two years ago, a political dispute between Russia and Estonia escalated when the small Baltic country came under a sustained denial-of-service attack which disabled the country's banking industry and its utilities like the electricity network.
This was repeated last year, when Georgia's web infrastructure was brought down on its knees during its conflict with Russia.
(Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/davos/7862549.stm)
Thus, Cyber warfare is a relatively a concern topic for all from developed to developing countries who are exploring the depth of advance weaponry and other facilities of cyber space. It needs to be well thought within the pros and cons which need to be restricted within the accessibility of its use and operation.

3.a Protection against Cyber Warfare

The main protection against cyber warfare is getting your prepared and secured with the necessary software and firewall that are available. Protection against cyber warfare in real sense means, being aware about the issues and happenings of cyber space. Every security measure that is performed by a non-human device in the digital world is a member of this group. From the emails that are being received or send to the antivirus that are installed as preventive measure everything needs to be operational and well working. One should also be focused on the happenings and the invention where keeping up-to-date is the key to protection against cyber warfare.
The current ongoing racket of Spam is also a perfect cyber warfare weapon. Spam is a low intensity, diffuse, and persistent attack which targets the desired segment and relocates the strategy according to their motive. In cyber war, the information infrastructure is the medium that is being targeted and impacts the most in retrieving the desired information or manipulating the system making it obsolete for its performance. So to prohibit this we need to focus on security systems that could stand against the attacks here are some of the options which are very much in use:

a. Encryption: Encryption is a set of coded algorithm that converts important data’s into blocks of unrecognizable format which prohibits the information from any illegal use. It is a process of converting data using algorithm into secured form preventing it from any kind of abuse or use. Encryption is not a fully secured security system as algorithm codes can be channelized and manipulated in possible way but to a level they do prevent from illegal use and to certain option they do act as a saviors.

b. Network Security: Network security is a curial issue for any Network Administrator in safe guarding the networks and peers connected to the network. Network security is a broad term that encompasses issues likes proper infrastructures and policies that facilitates the successful use and control of network in the most prominent way giving equal opportunity for grow and expansion. Network security simply helps in protecting the boundaries of its limitation and excludes trespasser in safeguarding the valuable information. Network security is a very prominent option of security against attackers.

c. System Security: System security refers to the individual system that protects information and data from theft, tampering and abuse by any unauthorized use, giving substance and flexibility to the desired users in acquiring the information as per their needs. For examples the antivirus, firewall etc.

d. Application Security: Application security is specifically related to an application life cycle process that takes effective measures in safeguarding the vulnerabilities that are open during the application process. The application security also prevents any breach in security policy while designing, development, upgrading and maintenance of the application process.

e. Security Monitoring/Auditing: Security monitoring and auditing refers to constantly watching and updating the policies, regulation and mechanism according to the need of environment. It results in creating effective and efficient environment for safe use of the system in every possible way prohibiting any manipulation and abuse. A system with its network security needs to be constantly watched with relation to global happening and update itself with the technological upcoming. It’s the basic need where lack of update might result in system vulnerabilities. As attackers always seek for loop holes and once the system becomes vulnerable, they certainly don’t miss their chance.

4. Cyber Terrorism

According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), “Cyber Terrorism is any premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.” Cyber terrorism is also referred as electronic terrorism or informational war where the diversion of information can create obstructing situations. Cyber terrorism attacks are strategically designed to maximize damage both physically or financial. The possible cyber terrorist targets are public interest properties like banking industry, television and communication station, military installations, power plants, malls and business centers, water systems etc.
Thus, Cyber terrorism is a criminal act of punishment subjected to wrong use of computers and telecommunications capabilities, resulting in violence, destruction and/or disruption of services in any possible way with the intention of damage to any sector in any possible way. Reality is the information that are easily available on website can be wrongly used or manipulated in desired way to result in mishaps in a scenario of possibility.
Similarly, few years back a huge concern was raised regarding the satellite mapping images of Google earth to potential high profile places and its possibility of use by terrorist organization. Later the issue was hyped and took a form of a ban which was enacted highlighting the potential threat of terrorism. I believe cyber terrorism is such a vague topic where it threats human society in every step as internet has acclimatized 21st century in the most profound way.
Information of vital resources are easily available on internet, apart from that technical content of making bombs and other relevant terms are easily available on websites making it easy for cyber terrorist groups to harbor and train innocent people.
Apart from that Terrorist groups are increasingly attracted to modern communications technology for planning, recruiting, propaganda purposes, enhancing communications, command and control, fund raising and funds transfer, information gathering etc taking terrorism to the next level. This aspect of cyber terrorism materializes the flexibility of web information for expansion of terror around the world, which indeed is a slacking factor.

4.1 Reasons for popularity of Cyber Terrorism
Cyber Terrorism is the next step of terrorism adapting the advancement of technology and system which profuse in utilizing the flexibility by targeting the loop holes of cyberspace and materializes its substance. The basic attractions of Cyber Terrorism are high impact, use of less resource, cost effective, fast, untraceable and effective in every possible way that is yet to be discovered with the booming technology and advancement.

a. Perceived Secrecy: Cyber Terrorism gives an advantage to such groups in falsely creating an image in cyber space giving easy results to their bad intention in the most prominent way. The easy use of false IP and other flexible options that are readily available in the open network makes it easy to target others and attack them from safe distance. The accessibility of open source and easy hacking is also an option which facilitates cyber terrorism in opening the loop holes and utilizing it according to their personnel needs and wants.

b. Diverse targets: Internet today is connected to every part of the world, and there is relatively a question about who or what is not associated with it? The diverse aspect and the dynamics of internet in growing prospect have certainly attracted all fields from life making it the most happening thing. From social networking to easy access online chatting internet is the most happening thing which certainly gives stance to target vulnerable groups as easy targets of cyber terrorism. The feasibility of the cyber space provides an advantage to the terrorist groups to harbor extort and train innocent people in desired way. The availability of easy accessibility certainly helps in manipulation making discrimination, racialism, enthusiasm, aggravation etc as a tool in expansion of their terrorist group. The Internet certainly has open doors for opportunity but on the same has invited inevitable risks which are tolling in for externalities. These factors are very progressive and efficient in many ways where the flexibility of internet has been an advantage for them and a curse for the innocent people online.

c. Low risk of detection:
The Dynamics of internet is so vast and vague that the possibilities of its existence and application are yet to be discovered. Internet provides a vast ray of software and codes that can virtually make you vanish in cyber space and gives you the power of low risk detection. Apart from that these days the easy access of open network sharing can allow you to access the net imaging a false IP and further gives the accessibility to do stuff that can just be imagined.

d. Low risk of personnel injury: Cyber space certainly provides the advantage of low risk of detection using the help of different software where the risk of injuries to the resource are also very low or nil. Thus, it results in easy access and impact with just a touch of button which very efficient and effective in terms of strategy. With just the help of an attacker, devastation can be resulted in seconds using less resource. So low use of resources refers to low detection and low detection gives substance to low risk, and may be this is the reason why cyber terrorism is such of a threat. Likewise, it is said that impact can only create a damage of certainly level but experience can damage more than anything.

e. Low investment: Low Investment is a prominent factor that attracts cyber terrorism to cyber space. Previously, when millions of dollars were spend on weapons and training on battle field and the output or damage was limited in battle field. Now, the impacts are very high and the use of resources is also very limited but the result can be very big and damaging. Cyber space provide a psychology of war mentality where people win by utilizing others weakness and vulnerabilities and to some extent that limits the use of resources and in so many ways makes it efficient. Reality is with an efficient human resource and low investment in a hard ware and software, the impact could be immense which is an effective strategy.

f. Operate from nearly any location: The easy accessibility of internet certainly provides an opportunity to operate from any desired location virtually making you invisible is a simple trick. The possibility of sitting in a remote location and resulting damaging some thousand of kilometers away is an advantage of the open network.

4.2 Key Measures for Protection against Cyber Terrorism

1. All personal information and crucial data should be protected and should not be displayed
2. Effective password combining characters, numeric and strings should be used to protect all accounts online
3. Whenever the network encounters errors, the network then should be reconfigured and enabling all protection software
4. Timely update of the security system prevents from encountering new errors
5. The system administrator should keep a close eyes in the system logs and its uses
5. Key Players or Stakeholders of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism

Cyber security basically follows the combination of three aspects People, Systems and Procedures. Systems and Procedures are the key factors developed by peoples, so human resources play a pivotal role in controlling and operating the cyber-security and defense initiative. More often it’s the human ambition and resources that makes the system work against each other creating conflict in fulfilling their selfish motives. The system certainly defines the role and scope where human ambition creates the opportunity, resulting in the possibilities of damage. The basic key player in cyber warfare and terrorism are listed as below;

1. Policy System: Policy System is an important mechanism that tackles the policy level in creating and defining scenario in and against the policy mechanism. The policy system is the most prominent system that setup the boundaries for the pros and cons safeguarding the rights of normal people who use the system with in the periphery of that location. Policy defines the role and scope of development and growth making the system secure from vulnerabilities and externalities.

a. International Security Council: International Security Council is the main body that sets standards in safeguarding the rights of its user from every angle possible. The council also involves in proper growth and development within the frame work of developing effective policy and regulation. It also monitors and further researches into issues of concern where its role is very prominent in policy design and further grow and development. For example some of the international Security Council is Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

b. Government body: Government Body is the main authoritative body that’s responsible for the overall management of the internet infrastructure and other security issue in its periphery. Its responsibilities are very much dynamic to the changes and happening that affect the industry and should always keep an eye open.

c. Country’s home security system: The country’s home security is also an important system as it protects the system and network from hackers and intruders. If the system is not effectively protected then it certainly makes the entire network and its peers vulnerable and they most likely to become prune to attacks. Installing an effective security system is the utmost need where as updating and maintaining the security system is its priority.

d. Intelligence System: Information is the key to any system and especially about the enemy is a key winning factor which can make a huge difference in the battle or warfare. Gathering information about enemy tools and cyber-security systems is as valuable as maintaining a security system. Even at a company level it is important to know what kind of new security tools are being developed and its resourcefulness. So having an effective intelligence system certainly helps in safeguarding the country as it basically acts as a preparation of what can happen and what could be done?

2 Key Players/Stakeholders: Key players are the main stakeholders who play an important role in the industry. They are the main people who run and inhibit the industry bearing all the happening and consequences where they try to work their operation within the limitation of policies. They aspire the limitation where they help the industry to expand and grow in the most effective and efficient way.

a. Experts: Security experts are the key players in the cyber-security defense force. They play a crucial role in designing and developing firewalls and other security measures. Without these people a country or a company needs to rely upon external help that may or may not be successful or viable.

b. Systems Programmers: Adapting the knowledge of security requirements and new security loop holes, system programmers are the essential key players who corrects the errors and try to integrate the systems effectiveness in the best possible way. The knowledge of system and skills in programming helps in taking effective measures and helps to progress the IT industry as well as cyber-security

c. Hackers: Hackers are the essential key players in the fight against the security issues. They play a very important role from both sides’ protection as well as attacking. From protection side they help to understand the progressive psychology of their breed and help to understand their coding techniques and behaviors in cyber space. Hackers tends to do security consulting where they help the security experts in identifying the loop holes in the system and in collaboration they work their ways with security experts to cover them all.

d. Cyber Terrorist: Cyber Terrorist is a specific new term which in the verge of exploring its depth. Though the terms itself is not clear but the relative definition of a cyber terrorist is very dynamic and broad. A Cyber terrorist is a well equipped person with enough knowledge to act as threat to modern information systems, especially to the nation’s defenses and critical infrastructure. His capabilities don’t limit him from any specific definition but he is a top priority security threat to any country at national level.

3 Target Group: Target group are the vulnerable groups who are open for any sort of attack and have to bear the consequences in case of any attack. They are always the center of attraction where, it depends upon their initiation and alertness to tackle an attack. The target group can be of different level, country level, organizational level and individual level. It is the most important aspect of any attack strategy that suggests target group are instigates at different level according to the intensity of attack.

6. Prospect of Developing countries in Respect to Cyber warfare and Terrorism

Cyber warfare and terrorism are the growing aspect of threats to the developing countries where the chances of damages are very high and prominent. Though the technological advance have given us an edge in protecting & safeguarding our system and network in a more efficient and effective way; the same is also providing an effective medium for cyber attackers to develop further hard attack mechanism which are even faster, efficient and effective. Likewise, the ongoing discrimination of bandwidth, lapse of security policies, standardization, access and flexibility have resulted in a vacuum in between the developed and developing nation where internet acts as common medium for both but with double standards. These double standards are creating specific loop holes where the cyber attackers are manipulating and strategizing their obstructive motive that victimizes and facilitates the prospect of Cyber warfare and terrorism.
a. Digital divide: Wiki defines, “Digital Divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all.” So the difference in the technology makes the stronger fish eat the smaller fish where innocent people with limited technology and knowledge are 24/7 exploited by every means possible. The frauds emails, fake identities, fake websites, scams, hacking, viruses etc are some of the prominent products that are harbored due to digital divide.

b. Lack of net neutrality: Net Neutrality refers to the freedom in sense of accessing information or any means of communication in cyber space. It basically refers to no discrimination prioritizing the rights of information access. If there are discrimination maintain then it’s certain that it will be wrongly used, so lack of net neutrality certainly plays crucial role in giving an upper hand to the exploiter to target the vulnerable groups in cyber space.

c. Standardization: Standardization is an issue that has been in question from the beginning. Standardization is the set of rules, regulation and policies that needs to be acquainted with the system. Lack of standardization results in conflict between users and parties which gives room for externalities. The lapses of policies and regulations are well manipulated in serving the selfish motives where the exploiters are always in search of such loop holes.

d. Lack of effective technical human resources: Especially in developing countries the lack of human resource impedes the systems. The technological transfer is very much in air but due to lack of proper human resource the systems gets underestimated where the exploiter benefit the loop hole in manipulating their selfish motives.

e. Piracy: Piracy has been a problem in internationally. In cyber space pirated software can cost you more than what it cost in real resulting in great security lapses. Specially in developing countries due to lack of awareness and rules piracy is very evident where people promote it unknowing jeopardizing their security in view of saving few bucks. The problem of piracy can be overcome by effective channelization of standardization giving stand to social responsibility of big software companies toward the developing country.

7. Current and Past events
Annual E-Crime Congress
The annual E-Crime congress is one the largest gatherings of those who work to combat cyber crime. Delegates included banking experts, police and IT industry luminaries, all keen to discover new ways to fight online crime.
The prospect of internet-based warfare has come to the fore after a series of high-profile international attacks. Last year, it emerged that a gang of hackers, believed to be from China, had infiltrated computer systems at the Pentagon and launched attacks on government networks in Britain, Germany, India and Australia. US officials, who have labelled the group Titan Rain, have accused them of operating under the auspices of officials in Beijing.
David Davis, said “Cybercrime is a growing and serious threat to individuals, business and government. It is a problem that will continue to escalate as technology changes,"
Cyber Warfare 2010, is a event scheduled for January 27 - 28, 2010 CCT Centre, Canary Wharf, London, UK
 Insights into the evolving cyber threats to national security and information systems and evaluation of solutions to mitigate the threat
 Analysis of current and future legal issues, political pressures and challenges surrounding Cyber Warfare attacks and appropriate national cyber space activity
 Evolving national policy and doctrinal updates of Cyber Security and Cyber warfare from the UK MoD, US DoD, Estonian MoD
 Examination and lessons learnt from cyber attacks with insights from NATO studies and the Estonian MoD
 Latest technology updates in cyberspace and current research and development for both Computer Network Defence and Computer Network Attack
(Source: http://www.cyberwarfare-event.com/Event.aspx?id=228104)

The 3rd International conference on IPRs, Personal Data Protection and National Security, October 20 – 22, 2009 in Beirut, Lebanon

The conference is co-organised by Lebanese Information Technology Association (LITA) and International Association of Cybercrime Prevention (AILCC) and hosted by University of Saint Joseph in Beirut. The event is held in cooperation with Interdisciplinary Center for Law and ICT , Belgium ; The Higher Council for Science and Technology, Jordan ; The Ministry of Administrative Reform, Lebanon and Microsoft Lebanon.
On behalf of the organizing Committee, we sincerely invite you to attend the conference and/ or submit your full research paper before 1st October 2009 focusing on Law, IT and Cyberspace issues such as, but not limited to:
Privacy issues in cyber society
- Cybercrime
- Intellectual property rights
- Consumer protection
- Internet security
- Bio technology
- Nano technology
- International trade law
- E-business
- Trademarks and domain names
- Patents
- E-commerce
- Jurisdiction in cyberspace
- E-banking and e-business
- E-signature and Computer forensic

Call for Papers – ISSCRIM 2009, João Pessoa – Paraíba, Brazil (21 and 22 May, 2009)

Under the auspices of CCRC, International Association of Cybercrime Prevention (AILCC) in France and Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Brazil) invite you to participate in: “International Conference on Cybercrime And International Criminal Cooperation”
This conference is an opportunity for academics and consultants to exchange ideas and discuss most recent topics focusing on cybercrime and cyberlaw.
Bringing together leading academics, experts and professionals from all over the world, the conference discusses privacy, security, information technology and other cyberlaw issues.
We invite contributions focusing on cybercrime issues such as, but not limited to:
- Organized Crime
- International Criminal Cooperation
- Child pornography on the Internet
- Cybercrime in Brazil
- Cyberterrorism
- Intellectual Property Rights on the Internet
- Online Tax Fraud
- Information Security
- Bio – Technology
- Consumer Protection
- Privacy and Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace
- E signature

3nd Annual Fraud &Corruption Summit, 18THth-20th March 2009, Brussels

Expanding on the unprecedented success of previous summits held in Copenhagen and Stockholm, the 3rd Annual Fraud &Corruption Summit focuses on the detection, prevention &investigation of fraud & corruption and related financial crimes. It brings together (as a team) the disciplines of corporate audit, security, fraud prevention, corporate responsibility and risk management and has the backing of various chapters of the IIA, ISACA, ASIS and ACFE.
Global Fraud Summit 2008, 14-17 October 2008, Singapore

Date: 14th - 17th October 2008
Location: Singapore
Web url: www.globalfraudsummit.com
Today, businesses are fraught with fraud. 90% of white-collar crimes are now committed by companies’ own staff. Why the increase? Companies must boost their internal controls, compliance and anti-fraud framework. However, establishing one is tough. Training and awareness, gaining trust among employees are challenges the fraud manager has to tackle.

Furthermore, fraudsters have an international syndicate and they have also made use of technology as a means to defraud their organizations. Fraudsters these days get away without punishment as sometimes, companies do not wish to bear the brunt of losing their reputation. So how can there be a system to alert that the fraudster is on the lose? Do whistleblowing tactics work? What are repercussions of the whistleblower? Dare anyone be the whistleblower in the Asian context?

This summit will address strategies, theories and practical methodologies to prevent fraud, dismiss the idea of cheating and have policies for control.
Interested to participate, please go to www.globalfraudsummit.com/enquire.php for more information!
For priority booking, please quote priority code VHU715

CYBER SECURITY EXPO October 16, 2008
Date: 16th October 2008
Location: Memphis, USA
Web url: http://cfialab.memphis.edu/expo
The University of Memphis Center for Information Assurance will host the 2008 Cyber Security Expo at the FedEx Institute of Technology on October 16th. Information Assurance and Cyber Security experts will be on-site for lectures, networking and training to address emerging trends in cyber security. We are proud to have a renowned keynote speaker for the event, Daniel J Larkin. The Expo will also feature many relevant exhibits and booths from a variety of significant venues. Sponsors, exhibitors, and participants are urged to contact us as soon as possible.

International Conference on Digital Evidence, 26th - 27th June 2008 -London, United Kingdom.
This is the first conference of its kind to treat the subject in such a global context, and without the traditional sole focus on e-disclosure.
MIS Training has partnered with Stephen Mason, Barrister, Editor, Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review, Associate Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London &Visiting Research Fellow, Digital Evidence Research, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (UK) for this timely conference.

Hear from the international speaker panel which spans over 17 different jurisdictions. Lawyers, barristers, IT investigators, in-house counsel and digital forensics experts will present you with the most current reports from around the world.

Judges, lawyers (in-house lawyers as well as lawyers in practice), digital forensic specialists, police officers &IT / security directors responsible for conducting investigations will find this of tremendous benefit - as the unique chance to compare the real &problematic issues that surround digital evidence.
(Source: http://www.crime-research.org/events/)
8. Prevention against Cyber warfare and terrorism

Stopping the attacker is the primary concern for any system. The top priority of any system is to keep itself sustained while in operation and when it rests. A system is more active when it’s operational but on contrary it also becomes more vulnerable during its processing. If it is not protected with effective security programs, it gives advantage for attackers to try their luck. Most of the attacks are very simple and straightforward and a good prevention is to simply lock it, unless somebody expects an army trying to enter. So the bottom line is a system is never too strong or weak, it’s the resourcefulness of the user to make the system more effective and efficient to fight against the loop holes of the system and to correct it with effective security program and mechanism.
Main tools in this category are:

I. Firewalls: Fire wall is a part of system encoded security access program that prevents from unauthorized access to or from a private network while permitting authorized communications. A firewall is a complete system that is implemented in a both computer hardware and software.

There are several types of firewall techniques:

a) Packet filter: Packet filter is technique of checking the packets of information that is sent in-between the network and accepts or rejects it based on user-defined rules.
b) Application gateway: Its s security mechanism that monitor the specific application like FTP and Telnet servers. This system is very effective but slow down the operation speed.
c) Circuit-level gateway: This technique is specifically used to monitor the flow of information during the connection of TCP or UDP. After the connection is made the information can flow without further security checks.
d) Proxy server: It helps to intercept all the information that goes between the network connection and effectively hides the true network address• Authentication systems.

II. Authorization systems: Authorization system refer to a mechanism which helps a user to access a system according to the priority level that he or she has been assigned to and effectively channelizes the mechanism in sustaining and accessing the resources according to authority that has been defined for him or her.

III. Network scanners: Network scanners are specified sets of software that analyzes a network to determine its exposure to unwanted intruders. It is also known as vulnerability scanners. These software checks the clients PC servers, routers, firewalls, network appliances, system software and applications for vulnerabilities that include open ports, back doors, poorly written scripts and blocks the operating systems from such threats.

IV. System scanners: System Scanners are individual scanning software that scans the system and its system files for security vulnerabilities that are implemented in any form of email or code or any sort of cookies. The system scanner are completely update based which are directly interconnected to their host software which updates it on regular basis.

9. Allegation and Controversies toward Developed nation

a. Most of the developed countries transfer their technologies in motives of their business development but they fail to address the relative issues of standardization and policy.
b. The Digital divide and the discrimination of net neutrality is a concern of developing countries where they are bound to face the consequences.
c. Most of the acts of cyber warfare have been a result of power manipulation to showcase their presence in view of making the target fulfilling all the demand of the attacker.
d. Most of the attacks have been targeted from developed countries to developing countries where the developing countries pay the consequences of lack of proper infrastructure or policy.
e. Hippocratic mentality of developed countries in using net neutrality and digital divide as medium of political manifesto.
f. The international agencies related to cyber space are bias to developed countries in giving them an authority and manipulation where they rule their business.
g. Lack of effective human resource is subjected to developing countries where the attackers are one step ahead.

10. Conclusion

Cyber warfare and terrorism is a fight of power where the big fish eats the small fish. The only way to solve it is by overcoming the barriers of discrimination in binding within the dynamic of standardization.
The aspect of Digital Divide and Net Neutrality should be overcome in the most proper way of abolishing discrimination giving substance to the right of information to all. According to Symantec, “Symantec blocked an average of more than 245 million attempted malicious code attacks across the globe each month during 2008. Phony emails, fake web sites and online ads trick innocent victims into divulging personal data like social security and credit card numbers. Cyber criminals then sell the information to the highest bidder on the online black market. Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) knows that cyber crime is real crime, that’s why today, the maker of Norton security software, is bringing to market a completely unique approach to online security with Norton 2010.”
Cyber space has become more vulnerable to externalities of fraud, scams, malicious threats, virus, hacking etc where being secured is a question that haunts everyone. So being secured certainly means being updated where one’s security certainly lies at the stake of awareness in the every possible way. On contrary Cyber attackers and their technologies are getting sharper and smarter where the hackers and attackers are one step ahead of us keeping the technological boon manipulating the knowledge and availability in and against the innocent people.
“Cyber space provide a psychology of war mentality where people win by utilizing others weakness and vulnerabilities and to some extent that limits the use of resources and in so many ways makes it efficient.”
Information of vital resources are easily available on internet, apart from that technical content of making bombs and other relevant terms are easily available on websites making it easy for cyber terrorist groups to harbor and train innocent people.
Apart from that Terrorist groups are increasingly attracted to modern communications technology for planning, recruiting, propaganda purposes, enhancing communications, command and control, fund raising and funds transfer, information gathering etc taking terrorism to the next level. This aspect of cyber terrorism materializes the flexibility of web information for expansion of terror around the world, which indeed is a slacking factor.
11. References

1. Keith Lourdeau, Deputy Assistant Director, Cyber Division, FBI, “Congressional Testimony, presented before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security,” February 24, 2004, http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress04/lourdeau022404.htm
2. Brenner, S. (2009). Cyber Threats: The Emerging Fault Lines of the Nation State.
3. "New 'cyber attacks' hit S Korea". BBC News. 2009-07-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8142282.stm.
4. Williams, Martyn (2009-07-14). "UK, not North Korea, source of DDOS attacks, researcher says". IDG News Service. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/071409-uk-not-north-korea-source.html?ap1=rcb.
5. "Pyongyang blamed as cyber attack hits S Korea". Financial Times. 2009-07-09. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/61bc6d22-6c1f-11de-9320-00144feabdc0.html.
6. "Governments hit by cyber attack". BBC News. 2009-07-08. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8139821.stm.
7. Markoff, John (2009-07-09). "Cyberattacks Jam Government and Commercial Web Sites in U.S. and South Korea". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/technology/10cyber.html.
8. "Cyber Attacks Hit Government and Commercial Websites". Foxreno.com. 2009-07-08. http://www.foxreno.com/news/19999665/detail.html.
9. "US State Department under cyberattack for fourth day". AFP. 2009-07-10. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jnGA5yrkZlqmNHmhctub8FuA9TbA.
10. Jiyeon, Lee (2009-07-11). "Cyberattack rocks South Korea". GlobalPost. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/south-korea/090710/cyberattacks.
11. Kim, Kwang-Tae (2009-07-12). "S. Korea analyzes computers used in cyberattacks". http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jO5PtkM_1FjwMZjh3LS74g26yiUQD99CRCO80.
12. Zetter, Kim (2009-07-08). "Lazy Hacker and Little Worm Set Off Cyberwar Frenzy". Wired News. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/07/mydoom/.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Free Uploading in Internet, a question of concern for every one (Unsafe Internet)

With the growing technological advancement and easy accessibility, Internet is adapting normal people’s lives where it has become an essential part of daily chores. The advancement has not only facilitated the youths in getting connected round the clock with different social networking sites but on contrary has shown the harsh aspect of internet by uploading nude and pornographic contents anonymously.
Shocking yet amazing, people’s pictures and videos are appearing online out of thin air with no question of responsibility, killing privacy and security of private life. Anyone with right tools and techniques can click your pictures and manipulated it in desired way or click your private video and upload it for personal benefit.
More or less, the growing popularity of easy access, easy uploading and free space has brought upfront, threats like pornography and sexual exploitation targeting the most vulnerable groups.
The easy accessibility of uploading and free space available for pornographic materials in such websites has given better opportunity for expansion and growth of pornographic websites where on contrary it directly threats the social values and norms. Nevertheless, with the weak and ineffective cyber rules and regulation, the wrong doers are manipulating the rules and regulations in their favor where the innocent are bound to suffer the consequences. For example these days’ Nepali pornographic materials and pictures are very much getting popular in different domestic and foreign websites where the police and the authorities are very much silent about the issue.
Like such the recent sex tape scandal of Namarata Shrestha not only highlights the lack of proper rules and regulation but shows the lack of effectiveness of cyber rules and regulation in Nepal. Despite the fact that the sex tape was first published in You tube and later on a pornographic website openly is a concern over the exploitation of the actress privacy and her rights. Though after reporting the You tube band the video from displaying but the pornographic website without restriction is sharing the files to the mass. It’s easy availability and uploading in such websites raises question of authority and lack of management.
Under the Nepal’s civil law nudity in any form is considered to be illegal and punishable but with the growing popularity of website like http://www.mastishare.com/ and http://www.nepaliplay.tk/ Nepali pornographic materials are easily available at the touch of the button. Apart from that the Nepali pornographic material are very much getting popular among those site where they are hosted for free and are basically uploaded by members. These aspects are growing into a culture where they are being manipulated and managed in desired ways to serve the wrong doers for their personal and selfish motives. Furthermore, if the situation persists and if the government shadows the issue, the free uploading of Pornographic materials will materialize itself as the legal form of blackmail and extortion.
The easy accessibility of mobile phone and easy internet connection has not only facilitated the risk of exposure but on the other side is making popular the concept of bad publicity and open culture where teenagers are adapting it within their life style.
Anyone can easily capture or create a video and upload it to a website where there is no restriction and which can be easily open for download. So who is responsible for what is a question that haunts people who suffer the consequence.
A concern has been raised among researchers and intellectuals regarding cyber issues, pornographic website and exploitation where the internet gimmicks as a tool of knowledge but on the other hand threats the social norms and values where internet standardization and its rule is question that need to be raised in the right forum with right issues.
By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Monday, August 17, 2009

ICT development and its impact

The development of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and internet in developing countries has both been rewarding and has suffered the consequences due to lack of proper management. The ICT and internet are the most essential part of 21st century as everything from business to money are adapted to the World Wide Web(WWW) where lack of ICT or internet knowledge means being stagnant or left out .The present condition of developing nations are completely different as compared to the developed nations, as the developed nations adapted the growth and development of ICT and Internet constricting it within the limitation of defined rules and regulations(internet policies) where as for developing countries it is a glossy and attractive application with opportunities but also highlights innumerable serious threats of hacking, security, privacy, exploitation, pornography, frauds etc with no define application mechanism to control it. For e.g. the evolvement of web has certainly made it easy to open an email account and get connected with people thousands of miles away, which to an extent is easy and convenient but the same accessibility is used to create fake accounts and to action frauds. Likewise, today in developing countries thousand of women and children are being exploited and slugged into the sex industry with promising hopes of jobs and good payoff. The defaulters they with easy access of internet and web create lucrative website with effective promotion where women are being lured and sexual exploited. This is a concerning and alarming issue which has popped up. In recent years, the sex industry with the high demands of sexual desires and prostitutes has expanded beyond boundaries where internet is used as one of the major tools for marketing. At first the brokers lure their victims with dreams of good job and payoff through emails and websites and later when the victims arrive at their defined place, they are forced to face the consequence where they have no option expert to surrender. Similarly, in developed and developing nations teenagers are very attracted to internet, In Nepal a new problem is emerging in children below 18 as everyday groups of teenagers’ flock to Cyber cafes bunking their studies just to play the online games. The news has top major Medias where children are getting addictive to such games where they spent their precious time playing online games which in the mean time should have been addressed by their studies. More often these kids also engage themselves in watching the different pornographic sites which are not meant for them. The easy accessibility made it so convenient that you can just search them on Google or any other search engine where it has become a part of the degrading societal factor. The researchers’ have conveyed a strong opinion about the easy accessibility and the content where these pornographic site not only creating a negative images of sex but are also impacting the psychology of teenagers. Developing nations are always in the short cry of money; perhaps due to lack of proper infrastructure and resources government is not able to address all the issues. These pornographic pictures and movies not only are highly sexual and violent but alternatively are giving a wrong message about sex and its real meaning. Moreover, the developing nations are specifically targeted due to their vulnerability by the irregular groups for exploitation where what teenagers’ or adults are exploited in one or the other form. The advent of web site booming has given an advantage to offenders to seeks new destination for child sex tourism. Increasing exploitation can be seen through different websites where children are sexually being exploited through internet. Especially in countries like Thailand the cases are very high. Children and youth are increasing being lured by internet to exchange sex for survival which is growing at alarming rate where organization like UNICEF is raising awareness about the issue. Likewise, lack of proper awareness, rules and regulation also impedes the developing nation where they fall prey to the strong competent who are more secure and are technically sound. Never the less, internet has been used as a tool by wrong doers to hold scams and extort money in different way. There are in-numerable cases like the Nigerian letter and cases of private information hijacking where innocent people are being preyed. Reality is internet is a foreign application created by the developed nation for their purpose where the norms, standard and regulation everything are set according to their needs and wants. And Internet and ICT was certainly passed on by the developed nation to the developing nations without adapting the pros and cons of its implementation. "Internet more of is proving to be curse then boon for countries who lack behind "Thus, the fact that ICT and Internet development certainly has boosted the process of development in developing countries but the aspect of its lack of preparation and awareness simply hinders at times where people are suffering the consequences. The best option is awareness where individual effort counts so let’s make an effort to save the other from being exploited and cheated, spreading the awareness of Internet Governance.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Spark of Change

Everyday, we think about the change where we create our own image in giving it the description of our imagination. This description further gets influenced by the acts that are happening around us. We search reasons and questions for the acts but in reality we strees our brain so much and we get confused where we just accuse or throw words or blame others. But we forget that when we point one finger at others four fingers point at us.It’s said that “don’t hate the game hate the players;” likewise, Nepal’s politics today has turned into a garbage; a garbage full with pollutants of selfishness, corruption, and Hippocrates.Whether it Nepali Congress or UML or the Maoist party there is not a single politician or leader who could be respected or worth getting the respect. All of them, they are so limited and bounded by their selfish motives and games that they forget they are the servents of public. More or less, they indulging themselves to luxury of life with the hard earned money of tax payers and citizens disgarcing their oath of serving public.In fact reality is Politician is such a respectable position where we trusts the leaders to play a crucial role in overall development of the country but till date we see them engaging themselves in corruption, power politics, commission rackets, favoritism, social discrimination, lobbing selfish motives, accumulating people money in foreign banks etc . I bet there is not a single Politician who would be respected in true sense. They disgrace the societal value of socialism where they take the oath of serving the nation but alternately support their individual party in strengthening their forces and power.The problem here is not with the leaders, the problems here is with us the normal people, we select these leaders and when they get power they play and manipulate us in their desired ways but we keep our mouth shut, we just move to their rhythm where they treat us like nobody. I say and believe every Nepali has the bloody right to ask each of the leaders about what they did and what they are planning to do coz its our country and we pay taxes for the operation of the country. We pay tax in everything from buying a chocolate to sewage to cold drinks, evrything thing is tax but still we are least bothered group. Moreover, the hard earned money completely goes in vain paying hefty salary and comforting their luxury. It’s our responsibility to remind them of their mistake where we lack.Likewise, we blame everything upon them which is completely erratic and irresponsible, as they are selected by us. We do protests, do blockades, Chaka Jam, Bandhas etc on useless things but regarding our politician and their acts we keep silence making it limited with in the voices of a unknown tables and chairs.The fascinating part is we say politics is a dirty game, but it’s our garbage. Just by saying it bad or disgracing it, things won’t change. We have two choices either we keep our mouth shut and let the things that’s happening go on or do something about it in any way possible. It’s upon our efforts and we need to dig our hands into the garbage and clean it.We the young blood the so called generation-X need to wake up to this call and say that yes we are determined not just to blame but to take charge. We have to take resposibilitie in every possible way of being a good citizen and wrok our way in the system. It might take days or years, but change is suppose to happen and it will happen no matter what. We have the skills and courage and let’s unite to bring change.This is not just a call for me, you or anyone, it’s a call for every Nepali who feels pride to say he or she is Nepali and if you care spread the awareness and save our nation. Lets take the promise to bring change not just by words but by social awareness and by social change where our small effort counts and each individual matter to say that he or she is a part of this society and we can play a crucial role for the development of our country. Let’s make Nepal a better Nepal for the coming generation to be proud of where we can held our heads high to say we brought the change.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Nepal's position paper for the Copenhagen Negotiations (COP15)

Nepal is a small landlocked country situated between massive global economy of China and India. Nepal has considerable stake admits its strategic location where climate changes has drastically affected its major resources including the fragile mountain ecosystem and most importantly the human settlement. With the unstable economy and label of under developing country, Nepal is struggling to meet the standards of globalization where it suffers in different ways social, financially and ecologically.

It lacks proper institutional, scientific and economic resources to adapt the climate changes making it more vulnerable to externalities of Climate change. Recent incidents of the glacial lake out-burst (Cho-Rolpa) in Nepal is the implications of the climate change which threats similar other glaciers and the whole Himalayan region.

Apart from the fossil fuels, deforestation and the changes in the land uses are also responsible for net increases in the carbon dioxide emissions where Nepal is moving towards adapting different strategies of Mitigation and Adaptation. Therefore, climate change seeks action at two major areas. First is the mitigation of the greenhouse gases and the second is the adaptation to the climate change.

Nepal’s Mitigation and Adaptation strategy towards Climate Change
Mitigation and adaptation are the strategic tools that deal with the cause and effect part of the global climate change. A mitigation strategy tries to eliminate the cause of global climate change whereas adaptation strategies try to minimize the adverse effects of the climate change.
-With the donor-driven Mitigation activities rather than the country driven, Nepal’s national priority is not the global environment but the local one. Moreover, the efforts have resulted in improvement of the local pollution, raising awareness, energy conservation, and technology transfer.

- Adaptation to the climate change is the area where Nepal has more stakes. Implications of the climate changes to the fragile mountain ecosystem, fresh water, and extreme weather events, agriculture, human health and others are taking its toll where the people living in the selected area are facing serious problems.

Main focus of the Conference

Focusing UFCCC and Kyoto protocol in implementing the Bali road Map: The Bali Roadmap mandates the implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, creating a secure, full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC with priority to mitigation, adaption, technology transfer and financial support. This will further help in reducing emission rate for developed countries according to the standard set under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Cooperation and Flexibility in responsibility: The developed national should take responsibility for the past degradation of the climate and further move on to reduce their emission with regards to the standards set according to future agreement. They should further help in assisting the most impacted countries with possible resources including technological transfer and take proactive measures to adapt and mitigate the climate change. The agreement should also focus on charging the high GHG emitting members according to their emission rate.

Creating an effective mechanism: The Conference should focus on creating an effective mechanism to adapt mitigation, adaption, technology transfer and financial support. It should give equal priorities to the weakest links giving them opportunity to stand up and facilitate them with effective resources. Nevertheless, financing and technology are indispensible means to achieve mitigation and adaptation where the mechanism should focus on the effective technology transfer.

Nepal’s position is very clear in context of COP 15, as climate change has hit us hard, so we believe in the implementation of Bali agreement and further move ahead with the second phase of Kyoto Protocol in adapting the most effective measures in reducing the Green house gas effect. The developed nation should further move to reduce their emission rate effectively in supporting the most impacted country in every possible way socially, financially and by transferring effective technologies.

Global warming or climate changes is a concern of everyone so the COP 15 should further move in cooperation and coalition addressing the needs and problems of the climate change in securing the future. The conference should also focus on giving substance to the voices of the smaller countries and try to understand the pragmatic grounds of developed nation. The efforts should be diverted towards a mutual point of being responsible in making united efforts of saving our earth.

Strategies of Adaptation

1. A new climate change agreement must consist of a shared vision to combat climate change and contain a clear regulatory framework that is valid for a long period of time, ideally until 2050, in order to provide enduring incentives for climate-friendly investments. Interim targets should also be established to trigger immediate action through incentives that are effective in the short-term. A system with medium and long-term targets is necessary both to give enterprises the necessary investment and planning security and to ensure that targets are met.
2. Development of innovative technologies and technology transfer. The development and application of innovative technologies and technology transfer are decisive to combat global climate change. So effective research and development need to be given adapting the best of what can be achieved.
3. The least developed countries and those facing the greatest threats should be supported in adapting to the consequences of climate change. The financial resources of the existing Adaptation Fund, which was established for this purpose, should be increased with grants from the public and the private sector. Industry can contribute to adaptation measures in particular through developing and providing appropriate technologies.
4. The international climate change agreement must aim to minimize competitive distortions on the markets through a globally uniform price for greenhouse gas emissions
5. Enhanced action on adaptation, dealing more specifically with:
Ø Objectives with respect to adapting to the impacts of climate change
Ø Supporting and undertaking the implementation of adaptation actions
Ø Addressing risk reduction, management and sharing of efforts to adapt to climate change
Ø Institutional arrangements to assist in the implementation of adaptation actions, and
Ø Monitoring and reviewing mechanisms for adaptation actions

Strategies of Mitigation

1. In order to combat climate change in a globally effective and cost-efficient way, the post-2012 agreement must include further development of the project-based on Kyoto Joint Implementation (JI) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). These provide the opportunity to finance clean technologies and implement climate change measures in emerging and developing countries.
2. All efforts to reduce emissions must be measurable and verifiable as mentioned in the Bali Roadmap. An effective compliance system must be developed to enable transparent and verifiable comparison of the climate change efforts of the different countries. The post- Kyoto agreement must include an effective sanctioning mechanism for non-compliance with reduction targets. Improving CDM and JI
3. Development of innovative technologies and technology transfer is another aspect of Mitigation. The development and application of innovative technologies and technology transfer are decisive to combat global climate change.
4. CDM and JI projects should be used more widely for the transfer of environmental technologies as in view of the trend in the worldwide distribution of CO2 emissions, projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be particularly efficient and effective in developing and emerging countries.

5. Enhanced action on mitigation, dealing more specifically with:
Ø objectives with respect to adapting to the impacts of climate change
Ø supporting and undertaking the implementation of adaptation actions
Ø addressing risk reduction, management and sharing of efforts to adapt to climate change
Ø institutional arrangements to assist in the implementation of adaptation actions, and
Ø monitoring and reviewing mechanisms for adaptation actions
Many emerging countries such as China and India have considerable current account surpluses with which they are able to acquire technologies on the market. Developing countries need financial support to obtain key technologies for mitigating climate change.

Executive Summary

Nepal being an under developed country and having less emission rate certain portrays it preeminence but the impact of the climates change and GHG in it territory has been immense where it needs to further raise questions for mitigation and adaption. The past experiences of the temperature rise in the Himalayan region have brought inevitable conditions where the drastic changes have suffered the consequence in both Visual Appearance of snow melting and accidents.

There is no argument that, economic development policy of Nepal should not compromise with the policies to mitigate GHG emissions but Nepal’s policies should try to flow in cooperation creating an effective scenario of saving the changes by effective measure of both mitigation and adaption where effort counts.

Amid the changing environment a framework should be devised targeting the adaptation and mitigation measures, which would ensure a smooth flow of both excluding conflicting outcomes. The goal for long-term cooperation should be comprehensive that should consists of sustainable development, mitigation, adaptation, financing and technology adapting the developed to the least developed countries with addressing their need and problems. In terms of mitigation, the developed countries as a whole should reduce their GHG emissions according to the standard set by the conference on mutual understanding.
Thus the Copenhagen Climate Conference should focus on full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol prioritizing positive outcome, for mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financial support.


COP- Conference of Parties
GHG- Green House Gas
GLOF- Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding
CDM- Clean Development Mechanism
UNFCCC- United National Framework Convention on Climate Change
REDD - Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries
NAMAs- Nature of nationally appropriate mitigation actions
IPCC- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Nuclear energy is not an option for combating Climate Change

Nuclear energy or power is an alternative solution for subsidizing the global green house gasses emission rate but is not a permanent solution [1]. As nuclear power is not a clean or renewable form of energy [6], so to an extent it can be used as an effective means of reducing the green house gasses emission rate but not a permanent solution where better option are being explored and new technologies are being developed.
Professing, the role of production of green house gasses, a large percentage of the emission is also related to electricity production where great quantities of fossil fuels are used in producing electricity. The Nuclear energy provides a better option in producing the non fossil electricity [1] but the high investment, dangers of radiation or inevitable risks of catastrophic nuclear accidents and also increases the threat of nuclear weapons expansion and research [6] [7].
It’s neither the cheapest of the non-fossil fuel alternatives, nor is it the cleanest, but still the demand of nuclear power is growing due to its flexibility of operation and mass energy production capacity [2].
Moreover, the booming of the renewable technologies has outstripped the nuclear power in development and performance, while ensuring the cost, effectiveness and efficiency, but is yet struggling to adapt the market. There are variable options like Wind Power, Solar Photo Voltaic, Solar Thermal, Geo Thermal, Hydro electricity; Bio Mass, Land gasses etc which are being explored and small fraction of it are being used in different parts of the world [4]. More or less, whether it’s nuclear or any form of energy, if it helps in reducing the rate of emission in any way should certainly be capitalized where its pros and cons should be well evaluated [3].
Now, looking back to the Nuclear energy prospects, the initial investment for setting up a nuclear plant may be huge or in billions but the average cost of producing nuclear energy is less than the cost of using fossil fuel or coal or hydroelectric which seems very lucrative and adaptive. Moving on the advancement in technology will bring the cost down further in the future but inherently the threats of nuclear power station also shadow its prospects [5].
Nuclear energy is well recognized as an alternative energy where its demand has reached to the priority of developed and developing nation. To the level, Nuclear power is regarded as one of the options available for alleviating the risk of global climate change and Green house gases s effects, where controversies are raised in and against the use of Nuclear power [4]. Further research and development is necessary in order to assess the technical and economical feasibility of those applications where the renewable options should be give chance on the basis of efficiency and effectiveness [3]. As it’s said that an effort of a person is not a worth but the idea is worth catching thousand of mind where we as an individual can make a difference.


1. In December 1997 governments met in Kyoto, Japan, where they agreed the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, meaning that governments were committed to stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would minimize climate change. The electricity generating sector contributes a large percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions by burning fossil fuels. Nuclear energy, along with renewable such as solar, wind and hydro generates electricity without greenhouse gas emissions.
Nuclear energy provides a fully developed non-fossil electricity generating option with the potential for large scale expansion. A continued steady growth of nuclear energy will allow countries to avoid emitting greenhouse gases from their electricity sector and help them to meet their Kyoto commitment.

2. In the United States, for example, no new nuclear power stations have been ordered since 1978. This has happened in a country which launched the Pressurized Water Reactor design and which houses many more nuclear reactors than any other country. Construction and operating costs have risen so dramatically, especially since the extra safety demands made after the accident at Three Mile Island, that some companies have faced bankruptcy.
In the United Kingdom, after a review of the privatization of the nuclear power industry, the government dismissed the industry’s demands for public funding to build new reactors to combat global warming. Six months later, British Energy cancelled two proposed stations, leaving the UK for the first time in over 40 years with no plans for new nuclear power stations.

3. In the Kyoto Protocol, agreed upon by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 1997, Annex I countries committed to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Also, the Protocol states that Annex I countries shall undertake promotion, research, development and increased use of new and renewable forms of energy, of carbon dioxide sequestration technologies and of advanced and innovative environmentally sound technologies. One important option that could be covered by the last phrase, and is not specifically mentioned, is nuclear energy which is essentially carbon free.
In this connection, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has investigated the role that nuclear power could play in alleviating the risk of global climate change. The main objective of the study is to provide a quantitative basis for assessing the consequences for the nuclear sector and for the reduction of GHG emissions of alternative nuclear development paths. The analysis covers the economic, financial, industrial and potential environmental effects of three alternative nuclear power development paths (“nuclear variants”).
Ø Variant I, “continued nuclear growth”, assumes that nuclear power capacity would grow steadily, reaching 1 120 GWe* in 2050.
Ø Variant II, “phase-out”, assumes that nuclear power would be phased out completely by 2045.
Ø Variant III, “stagnation followed by revival”, assumes early retirements of nuclear units in the short term (to 2015) followed by a revival of the nuclear option by 2020 leading to the same nuclear capacity in 2050 as in variant I.

4. Challenges for the Nuclear Industry
Ø Variant I: The main challenges would be to ensure that nuclear power retains and improves it economic competitive position relative to alternative energy sources, and to enhance public understanding and acceptance of nuclear power.
Ø Variant II: The nuclear sector will be challenged to meet the need for maintaining capabilities and know how to ensure the safe decommissioning of nuclear units and final disposal of radioactive wastes. Nuclear industries in a number of OECD countries have demonstrated already that capability. This variant might exacerbate challenges within the non nuclear energy sectors, in regard to long term security of supply and meeting UNFCCC commitments.
Ø Variant III: would challenge the nuclear industry to ensure that technical and economic preparedness would be maintained and enhanced during more than two decades of stagnation, in order to keep the nuclear option open. A revival of nuclear power by 2015 is assumed to be based upon technologies that are able to compete favorably with advanced fossil fuelled technologies, renewable sources and other options for alleviating the risk of global climate change.

5. Nuclear energy is expensive. It is in fact one of the least expensive energy sources. In 2004, the average cost of producing nuclear energy in the United States was less than two cents per kilowatt-hour, comparable with coal and hydroelectric. Advances in technology will bring the cost down further in the future.

6. Nuclear waste is produced at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to the reprocessing of spent nuclear. Much of this waste will remain hazardous for thousands of years, leaving a deadly radioactive legacy to future generations.
At nuclear power stations, highly radioactive waste has to be regularly removed from the reactor and at most sites this spent fuel is being stored temporarily in water-filled cooling ponds. According to independent experts, the global quantity of spent fuel produced without a climate based radical expansion of nuclear power is expected to increase from 145,000 tones in 1994, to 322,000 tones by the year 2010. Whilst a variety of disposal methods have been under discussion for decades, there is still no demonstrated method for isolating nuclear waste from the environment for adequate time periods.
As part of the routine operation of every nuclear power station, some waste materials are also discharged directly into the environment. Liquid waste is discharged into the sea and gaseous waste is released into the atmosphere.

7. Nuclear Weapons: Uncontrollable World-wide Proliferation
Plutonium is an inevitable consequence of nuclear power production. The plutonium is contained in the spent nuclear fuel. It is one of the most radiotoxic and dangerous substances in existence. A single microgram, smaller than a speck of dust, can cause fatal cancer if inhaled or ingested and a sphere of plutonium smaller than a tennis ball can be used to make a nuclear bomb capable of killing many thousands of people.
The links between the civilian use of nuclear technology and military applications is one of the most disturbing aspects of the nuclear age. The very first, crude nuclear reactors were specifically built in the 1940s and 1950s to produce plutonium for the US, former Soviet Union and British bombs. Only later were they adapted to generate nuclear electricity.
As nuclear technology spreads around the globe, so does the risk of nuclear proliferation. Nuclear weapons can be constructed using plutonium from either military or civilian sources.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Climate Change Combating Initiation in Nepal

Nepal is a small country in respect to development or globalization. From the past various efforts has been made to combat climate change or to control the emission of greenhouse gas, in this league the outlaw of the VIKRAM TEMPOs in 1999 was major step taken by the Nepal’s government in highlighting the adaptation measures against the green house gas emission .
The two stoke diesel Tempos not only emitted dangerous gases but were proving to be a threat to Kathmandu’s climate. Over the last two decades air pollution in Kathmandu had worsened due to increased of Nitrogen oxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and suspended particulate matter (SPM) levels. The move to ban two-stroke and diesel engine vehicles not only brought the issue of green house gas effect in lime light but on contrary befalls the ban on older vehicles in Nepal.

After that move, the government announced 22 point agenda to improve the vehicle emission level in the country along with the introduction of Nepal Vehicle Mass Emission Standard 2056 on 23 December 1999.

Likewise, with the fall of Vikram tempos, the Electric Vehicles (EVs) Safa Tempos were introduced as an alternative to support the old means of transportation. In recognition of the fall of the vital public system, Vikram Tempo owners were given subsidies, loans and tax free on import of vehicles that met the Euro- I standards. Since then, EVs or Safa Tempo, have been steadily increasing in numbers. Now, according to one of the retailer, Shree Eco Visionary (SEV), there are more than 1000 EVs plying Kathmandu streets handling more than 0.15 million people regularly on daily basis.

Nepal had introduced the first vehicle emission standard in 1995 after the completion of Nepal Kathmandu Valley Vehicle Emission Control Project submitted its report where the emission standard were often modified in the past with pressure from transport entrepreneurs, but now things have changed. The new Vehicle Mass Emission Standard 2056 has set 65 HSU (Hartridge Smoke Unit) for new diesel vehicles and 75 HSU for old ones. For petrol vehicles it was set at 3 percent Carbon Monoxide (CO) for new and 4.5 percent CO for old where the atmosphere of Kathmandu is at eased.

The Improvement in vehicular exhaust emissions came as a result of the government’s promptness in realizing the threat which further helped in channelizing and materializing the policies in assuring the enforcement of a progressively tighter vehicular emission standards where the policy are set in to protect and facilitate the climate.
By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

The Non State Actors in Climate Change diplomacy in Nepal

Non state actors are all the reaming forces except the state fighting against raising awareness about climates change. The force includes different stakeholders’ like public pressure groups, environment clubs, INGOs, Local NGOs etc. Most prominently in Nepal the INGOs are very active in raising the issues of climate change and its effects. The major of the organizations working in the field are given below:

World Wide Fund (WWF) Nepal
WWF is working to restore and reconnect natural landscapes across the Eastern Himalayas. By 2012, they aim to develop a shared vision with the governments of Nepal for the conservation and sustainable development of the Eastern Himalayas.World Wide Fund, has been actively working in Nepal for raising awareness.
Famed Nepalese climber Apa Sherpa reached the summit of the planet’s highest mountain on 21 May, 2009 and unfurled a WWF banner saying: "Stop Climate Change – Let the Himalayas Live!"As part of the Climate for Life Campaign, which aims to raise awareness of climate change impacts in the Himalayas, the expedition reminds world leaders of their responsibility towards preserving the region as a global heritage. And it calls on them to reach a global climate deal at Copenhagen this December.

International centre for integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
ICIMOD Nepal has been successfully working in the field of raising awareness in the Himalayan region where the changes have been prominent. It has organized different campaigns
Children express their concerns about climate change and its impact on their environment through art and letter writing competitions, - June, 2009

Himalaya – Changing Landscapes photo in Germany exhibition showcasing the prominent changes in the Himalayan region, - June 2009

Holding different international research for collecting data’s and working in the field to create awareness. More than 40 representatives from global conservation organizations in 15 countries met at a workshop organized by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, Nepal, to discuss a strategy for coordinated research on global change in mountain biosphere reserves, and especially the possibilities for implementing the ‘Global Change in Mountain Regions’ research strategy (GLOCHAMORE) at different sites around the world, particularly in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, -Nov 2008

The World Conservation Union (IUCN)
IUCN Nepal has been celebrating Environment Day every year, to renew public commitment towards the environment conservation and also help involve social sectors towards channeling environmental values and broadening public support for the cause. Every year the Organization celebrates the environment day to spread awareness about the increasing environment problems
The IUCN in collaboration with National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), WWF Nepal and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), will conduct scoping visits, organize multi-stakeholder consultations to review the draft constitutional provisions, and finalize the constitutional provisions on environmental rights. The project aims at mainstreaming environmental rights and sustainable development principles that represent the interests of all Nepali citizens, with particular attention to those of women, poor and marginalized people into the new constitution of Nepal.
IUCN had recently hosted the 4th Asia Regional Conservation forum in Nepal from September 10-14 2007 and I had covered the news. The regional conference covered the issues of growing energy demand in the region requiring more burning of fossil fuels and increase in greenhouse gas emission in the region. The conference had submitted it drafts and agenda to the related ministry but with the orthodox bureaucracy, it was stocked in pile with the rest.

A lot of activities and things are happening in Nepal regarding raising awareness of climate change. Most of them are either focused in spending their grant money or allocated money but to a level the people have been reached and awareness is flowing in a steadily way. But on real grounds, Nepal face turmoil due to lack of proper environment policy and the orthodox system that lacks effectiveness in monitoring and evaluating these INGOs and NGOs in regard to their work and reports forwarded by them.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Climate Change Negotiating delegation in Nepal

In Nepal the Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology(MoEST) is the national coordinator which deals for and against the issues, problems and awareness of environment. Though, the ministry receives a small amount from the yearly budget but the Ministry’s work has been limited to an extent.
The Ministry has adopted high priority over the vehicle pollution and its emission issue where recently it initiated the banned of two stoke tempos’ which emitted a lot of green house gases from the valley. Apart from that the ministry has also facilitated the use of the Electric vehicles (EV) known as the Safa Tempos. More or less, there are things happing where the ministry holds rallies and awareness campaign on environment day focusing the various aspects of pollution and conservation, but is limited and questionable.
Facilitating the environment, the Ministry in coordination with the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation has established various programs of community forest and tree plantation which to an extent have given successful results in raising awareness about environment in the locals. Amid the limited resources, orthodox system and bureaucracy, this seems more than what could be expected.
Regarding the international organization, basically there are more than a dozen of international organizations working in the field; most prominently the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), World wide fund (WWF) and IUCN are the basic organizations that work for the cause. The big INGOs with huge grants and funds, hosts various meeting and conferences in 5 star hotels where the donation money is waste in lavish parties. Contemplating the scenario only a negligible amount of money is spent on the real cause. These International organizations highlight their concern over the growing environmental problems within the reports and presentations which are just limited within conferences and meetings. On real ground nothing checks in where Million of dollars are being wasted in the name of awareness.
In one of my experience in a discussion program on climate change and its affects, one of the participant state that, “Nepal being a small country stands no point in the international arena. Our voice stand no where and our contribution towards green house gases is also very less but reality is global warming has hit us hard where physical evidences are clearly visible. In fact raising awareness in Nepal has no point because it would not effect in any way where our voice do no count in the international arena.”
The discussion ended in a controversial way but reality is do we need awareness because till the time powerful countries like US, and UK realize that their emission has affected the atmosphere and till the time they take action against it, I think raising awareness in somewhat like treating nose when u have a tooth ache.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

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