Why state-sponsored actors launch cyber attacks?


Eric O’Neill, the former CIA operative recently shared his thought on why some countries are super-interested in launching cyber attacks on other nation’s critical infrastructure. As cyber espionage and cyber terrorism have emerged as the most critical threats to public and private sectors in the United States and the United Kingdom, let’s hope that his viewpoints will surely give us a food for thought.

Mr. Eric said that the primary motive behind state-sponsored hacks will be to bring in a kind of political and financial imbalance in a nation. If the hackers succeeded in achieving it, then it can turn the fate of a country’s populace in either way within no time. Indeed, cyber espionage has superseded traditional spycraft as the primary intelligence gathering method for state-sponsored actors.

For instance, Russia launched a cyber attack on American DNC and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and succeeded in gaining critical policy information which sabotaged the dreams of Ms. Clinton and helped Mr. Donald Trump become the 45th President of United States.

Thus, gathering intelligence and disruption are hallmark purposes of espionage-related activities carried out by state-sponsored actors.

And with the digitalization trend picking up pace, the information which we are placing in databases is becoming accessible to the dark web within no time- all thanks to the malware developers. Therefore, our activities are proving as a golden opportunity to spycraft.

Eric suggests that state-sponsored attacks have grown since 2010 and will continue to grow in future as well. It’s actually a virtual war carried out by nations on other nations.  And the trend might prove as a never ending saga forever.

So, is there a solution?

Eric O’Neill adds that nation states/governments should engage in cyber arms control treaties like they did in nuclear warfare and should start limiting the usage of cyber weapons pitted against each other.

The United States is ready to do so, but only if, other nations come in support of this treat.

But, is it possible to bring nations like North Korea, Russia, and China onto a platform of common thinking for a virtuous cyber space….?

You can share your views through the comments section below.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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