Distributed denial of service attacks are the current weapon of choice for internet combat.
You may have heard about MasterCard, etc., being taken down in recent weeks by pro-Wikileaks agitators, all via the use of virus-laden zombie computers – the same technique was used during the Russo-Georgian fighting in 2008, and in July 2009 Chinese and North Korean originating botnets attacked South Korean and American sites.
The reason I bring it up: I have a prediction.
It seems obvious that the next major conflict between modernized nations will include an escalation in these tactics, and at some point it’s going to be necessary to move beyond illegal rafts of infected DELLs.
In the same way that we were once asked to grow Victory gardens, or buy war bonds, at some point the government may ask you to install an app.
It may run as a screen saver, or it may simply sit in your computer’s taskbar – but in those quiet moments, when you’re not surfing ebay, or critiquing the photography of friends and family on Facebook, your computer will be marching with its brethren, readying packets of digital-blades with which to shiv foreign servers in the dark alleys of cyberspace.