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欧洲正在发展进攻性网络能力,美国应注意

2017-05-05 08:29 外交关系委员会

摘要:法国、英国、丹麦、瑞典、希腊及荷兰等国家也构建了进攻性网络能力。遗憾的是,当北约成员国匆匆构建其能力时,它们将不得不很快面对具有挑战性的权衡。网络武器(或更确切的说,它们所利用的漏洞)趋向于一次性武器:一旦防卫者或厂商发现一个漏洞正被利用,他们就会对其进行修复,从而使攻击分子及潜在攻击分子的能力无效。

Europe Is Developing Offensive Cyber Capabilities

原文标题:Europe Is Developing Offensive Cyber Capabilities. The United States Should Pay Attention.

中文摘要:丹麦国际问题研究所博士生Jeppe T. Jacobsen在《欧洲正在发展进攻性网络能力,美国应注意》一文中表示,毫不奇怪,美国及其欧洲盟国希望将进攻性网络能力融入军事作战中。法国、英国、丹麦、瑞典、希腊及荷兰等国家也构建了进攻性网络能力。遗憾的是,当北约成员国匆匆构建其能力时,它们将不得不很快面对具有挑战性的权衡。网络武器(或更确切的说,它们所利用的漏洞)趋向于一次性武器:一旦防卫者或厂商发现一个漏洞正被利用,他们就会对其进行修复,从而使攻击分子及潜在攻击分子的能力无效。换句话说,一个国家对一个漏洞的利用将影响其盟国采取同样行动的能力。当美国的欧洲盟国发展其能力时,美国将不得不化解其与盟国之间的网络武器使用冲突。美国与欧洲可通过三种方式展开合作,进而有助于美国更好的理解欧洲国家可能修复或保留的漏洞。(编译:刘小云)

原文:

It is no surprise that the United States and its European allies are looking to integrate offensive cyber capabilities as part of their military operations. Last year, the Pentagon boasted about dropping “cyber bombs” on the self-declared Islamic State group. France and the United Kingdom have built similar capabilities, as have smaller European states, such as Denmark, Sweden, Greece and the Netherlands.

Unfortunately, as NATO members rush to build their capabilities, they will quickly have to confront challenging trade-offs. Cyberweapons—or specifically the vulnerabilities they exploit—tend to be single use weapons: once a defender or vendor identifies a vulnerability being exploited, they can patch it, rendering the attacker’s capability useless as well as the capability of any other potential attacker who built a weapon around the same vulnerability. In other words, one state’s exploitation of a vulnerability will affect its allies’ ability to do the same.

As the United States’ European allies develop their capabilities, Washington will be forced to deconflict their use of cyberweapons with European capitals, especially as they look to fight the same enemies such as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Similarly, a European country would want to tip off their U.S. counterparts before attempting to dox Vladimir Putin given the fact that rendering compromising information public could tip off Russia of its vulnerabilities in specific Kremlin networks, perhaps the same vulnerabilities the United States exploits for foreign intelligence purposes.

Furthermore, the proliferation of state actors with cyber capabilities has also meant more European interest in the possible need for a vulnerability equities process (VEP) similar to what exists in the United States. The VEP is a process to determine whether a government should disclose a previously unknown computer vulnerability (known as a zero-day) it has discovered or acquired to a vendor and, eventually, the public. If European countries start developing their own VEPs and their own cost-benefit calculus, there could very well be a scenario where a European country discloses a vulnerability to a vendor, which then patches it and leads to a loss of U.S. capability that relied on that vulnerability. The opposite could also occur whereby a European country decides to not disclose a flaw for its own offensive purposes, but that renders U.S. users of the flawed software vulnerable to attack.

Although most European countries and the United States officially promote a policy of vulnerability disclosure over retention, there has already been a few occasions where the European Union differs from the United States with respect to some cybersecurity policy areas. For example, in the effort to fight online surveillance by authoritarian regimes, the European Union was quick to implement the Wassenaar Arrangement’s ban on dual use “intrusion software,” whereas the prohibition raised howls in the United States. More recently, some in the European Parliament and the Netherlands have pushed for a ban on software backdoors that would permit access to encrypted communications and the purchase of zero-day vulnerabilities. This stands in contrast to other European nations like France, Germany and the United Kingdom which favor some mechanism to access encrypted communications, especially in terrorism cases.

Pan-European agreement on any issue is challenging, and cybersecurity is no different. Notwithstanding these challenges, there is scope for the United States to influence the VEP discussion in Europe. Many countries are in the early stages of thinking through these issues. U.S. interaction with European allies would help Washington better understand how Europe works with U.S. companies to fix vulnerabilities.

There are three ways Europe and the United States to cooperate. First, the annual EU-U.S. cyber dialogue, led by the State Department and European External Action Service, could commit to developing a classified information sharing platform on the processes for vulnerability disclosures, for example through the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre. Second, the United States could encourage coordination on the use of cyberweapons against common adversaries through the joint NATO division that is being created under the newly appointed NATO Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security. Third, the use of zero-day vulnerabilities for intelligence collection efforts could be coordinated through the five, nine, and fourteen eyes intelligence communities to deconflict their use.

These initiatives would give the United States a better understanding of what flaws European countries are likely to fix or retain. Absent such dialogue, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies may find themselves in a situation where they invest in harnessing certain IT vulnerabilities, only to find their efforts undercut by European vulnerability disclosures or use of cyberweapons.

责任编辑:刘小云

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