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What did Cybersecurity and Cyberwar look like in 1999?

Think all these news stories you are reading about cybersecurity, cyberwar, and cyberconflict are breaking new ground?

It is worth taking a read through the several hundred entries meticulously compiled in Mich Kabay’s 1999 Infosec Year in Review which I recently found on an old drive while searching for other content.

Some old new topics covered in 1999 include:

  • Data leakage through websites.
  • The “first” Cyberwar in Serbia
  • Supply chain/ code distro attacks
  • Propagating malware/viruses
  • Destructive malware/virus attacks
  • Social engineering attacks
  • Disruption of business due to attacks
  • Stock pump and dumps via fake news web sites
  • Attempts to sell human organs online
  • Attempts to sell illegal drugs online
  • Furbies a risk to the NSA!
  • New DOD strategies on cyber conflict
  • Creation of the Joint Task Force for Computer Network Defense
  • Hackers taking control of satellites and extorting the owners (or maybe not)
  • Hacktivist attacks
  • Chinese Information Warfare Doctrine
  • Hackers discuss how easy it would be to take down the power grid
  • Eric Schmidt (of Google fame) was personally hacked!
  • Russia using criminal hackers to target the U.S. government
  • Black Hat and Def Con conference coverage
  • Hate groups using the Internet for propaganda and recruiting
  • Israel forms a cyberwar unit (8200?)
  • Computer security staffing shortages
  • Someone forgot to use BCC
  • Security risks of imbedded medical devices
  • Chinese internet censorship
  • Crypto attacks

Infosec Year in Review 1999 (PDF)


Matt Devost

Matt Devost

Matthew G. Devost is the CEO & Co-Founder of OODA LLC. Matt is a technologist, entrepreneur, and international security expert specializing in counterterrorism, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence, risk management and cyber-security issues. Matt co-founded the cyber security consultancy FusionX from 2010-2017. Matt was President & CEO of the Terrorism Research Center/Total Intel from 1996-2009. For a full bio, please see