Before the internet era, geopolitical tensions drove traditional espionage, and periodically erupted into warfare. Nowadays, cyberspace not only houses a treasure-trove of commercially and politically sensitive information, but can also provide access to control systems for critical civil and military infrastructure.
It’s therefore no surprise to find nation-state cyber activity high on the agendas of governments. In 2019, nation-state cyber activity is expected to increase to unprecedented levels.
Read more about the predictions for nation-state cyber activity in 2019 on ZDNet.
Two days last year finally woke the world up to the dangers of cyberwarfare, according to Microsoft’s President Brad Smith: 12 May and 26 June. On 12 May the WannaCry ransomware attack created havoc by encrypting PCs across the world and costing billions to repair the damage. Just over a month later on 16 June the NotPetya malware caused more damage, again costing billions to fix. Western governments have blamed WannaCry on North Korea, and NotPetya on Russia — it probably was designed as an attack on Ukraine which then got out of hand.
Smith draws a parallel between the run-up to the First World War and the burgeoning cyberwar arms race today. “I’m not here to say the next world war is imminent but I am here to say that there are lessons from a century ago we can learn and apply, that we need to apply, to our own future,” said Smith.
Read more about Microsoft’s efforts to stop a cyber world war on ZDNet.
Cybersecurity headlines in recent years have been dominated by companies losing money by being hacked and leaking the data of millions of customers. But today, cybersecurity is moving beyond the financial impact to concerns over public safety, national security, and even cyberwarfare.
To understand the state of cyberwar and its potential impact, we should all keep in mind two things:
The proliferation of cyberweapons is already happening
Arms control of cyberweapons hasn’t caught up
Read more about the current state of cyberwarfare on ZDNet.
It’s not a matter of “if” companies will become a victim of a cyberwarfare or cybersecurity attack but “when,” as both types of attacks grow more sophisticated daily, putting millions–or billions–of company dollars, reputations, and data at risk. In a recent survey by Tech Pro Research, only 28% of the survey’s 248 respondents were not a victim of some form of security attack.
Interestingly, 86% of respondents were highly or moderately concerned with cyberwarfare attacks more than they were with general security risks. In a similar survey conducted in 2016, only 14% of respondents were slightly worried about cyberwarfare; 16% weren’t worried at all.
Read more about the findings of the survey by Tech Pro Research on ZDNet.
Political actors — including both superpowers and emerging economies — for decades have used cyberattacks, hacks, leaks, and malware to gain a political edge over their enemies and to keep their allies in line.
Over time, the scope, scale and sophistication of politically motivated attacks have increased alongside their malicious intentions. By now, cyber strategies have become just as important as physical arms in the battle for world supremacy.
Read about four broad categories these new cyber forces execute through clicks rather than triggers on DarkReading.
The leaders of the US and North Korea, Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, have met. Whether the summit is seen as a success or failure, both players will still indulge themselves in a disturbing trend: a free-for-all assault on other countries, businesses, and individuals alike through state-sponsored cyberattacks.
The United States and North Korea have never been the best of friends, to put it lightly. However, both countries have enough firepower — both in the physical and digital realms — to cause serious damage. Cyberattacks may not have been on the summit’s agenda, but digital weaponry can still be debilitating, and both countries have invested in training up the next generation of hackers, for good or ill.
Read more about why ZDNet’s Charlie Osborne believes that despite the historical Trump-Kim summit, the North Korea-US cyberwar will rage on, on ZDNet.
The point of this is that we all need to understand we have to raise our defenses. There are things you can do right now to make your systems more resilient and make it harder on all adversaries to accomplish their objectives.
The dynamics of cyber warfare have changed so dramatically that nation-state attacks are now a problem everyone needs to face up to, the former head of the UK’s intelligence agency has warned. “Five years ago we were aware of nation-state attacks but we would’ve seen them as something that only a nation-state needs to worry about. Today they’re a problem for everybody, as we’ve seen over the last year,” said Robert Hannigan, who served as director general of GCHQ from 2014 to 2017.
Read Christopher Versace take a look at cyber crime and cyber warfare on Forbes :
Even a casual perusing of the headlines informs us that cybersecurity is increasing as warfare and crime continue to shift into the digital arena. Earlier this week it was reported that the Internal Revenue Service identified a hacking effort that targeted e-file PINs for 464,000 Social Security Numbers, of which 101,000 successfully accessed an e-file PIN.