What will drive cyber security: Hacking, crime, warfare and/or terrorism?


By Lionel Snell
Editor, NetEvents

At first it seems a logical question: understand the enemy and you will understand the threat. If the threat is cyberwar, then military and armaments organizations are an obvious target. If it is cybercrime, then financial institutions should be concerned. If it is hacktivism, then any company with considered malicious by a significant portion of the public should be alert for attacks by campaigners.

But on second thoughts, the scene becomes far more confused. An attack on the national electricity grid could severely compromise military suppliers. One that caused traffic chaos could make it harder for an enemy to mobilise ground forces. Financial companies are already heavily guarded, so it is far easier for criminals to make money by blackmailing hospitals with stolen data. Hacking has always been an irritant, if not a major problem, because the motives can be so arbitrary – maybe an institution was hacked for no other reason than that it claimed to be unhackable?

In the case of hacktivism against a broad target like the present government, then any attack that disrupts the economy or draws attention to the cause could be an effective weapon when followed by a public announcement. Terrorism is similarly almost impossible to predict because the aim is to do absolutely anything that might invoke public terror – and that makes it highly threatening…Click here to read full article.


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