The rising strategic risks of cyberattacks to Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Former President National Defence University Lieutenant General (R) Amir Riaz Thursday said Pakistan should focus on developing artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, quantum computing and other latest technologies to combat cyber warfare.
Addressing the second-day first session of Global Strategic Threat and Response (GSTAR) international seminar organized by Centre for Aerospace and Strategic Studies (CASS), the former Lieutenant General expresses his view on the contours of hybrid warfare in the changing nature of future warfare.
He said in the present world a single cyberattack on a critical facility of a state would create a huge impact. “This has been witnessed in the past US elections where cyberattacks have been accused of alleged intervention in the US general elections. We have reached a point where man’s imagination and technology have reached a complementary interplay as both are growing at an unprecedented pace,” he added.
The truthless environment and rapidly increasing false narrative were more dangerous than Corona Virus in a hybrid warfare scenario, Lieutenant General (R) Amir Riaz noted. Hybrid Warfare was aimed at affecting people to change behavior of the state where the public was the target of the enemy state.
He explained that hybrid warfare directly targeted the central political consensus and the economic viability whose recent examples were of Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Iran. Though these states had different ground realities and historical background yet the political consensus and economic viability was equally targeted in these state, he added.
Air Vice Marshal (R) Faaiz Amir while deliberating on the role of aerospace in South Asia highlighted the global reports that termed the space as the next crucial warfare domain as no military could succeed on the ground in future without space as satellites had become mainstay of the militaries. India’s space based surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic intelligence capabilities had gave her a definite edge over Pakistan in obtaining realtime information of military depositions and deployments.
He concluded that Pakistan needed to realize the changing political environment where air medium could be used as an ideal medium during conflicts. He warned that the biggest future threat to Pakistan was not the weapons of mass destruction rather cyberattacks to be conducted at the speed of light from faroff places.
Chief Technology Officer Huawei (Middle East and European Union) Jorge Sebastiao discussing the cyber warfare, noted that all cyber warfare was taking place in regional context where cyberattacks were extremely destructive against a country’s critical assets.
He said countries like Pakistan should invest in their youth to build a cybersecurity force of young experts and also give importance to artificial intelligence, blockchains and software robots. “Pakistan in order to catch up with the pace of space dominating nations should develop microsatellites that are smaller in size and cheaper in cost,” he added. – APP