Are We In The Midst of A Cyber Cold War?

Password Stealer

The recent discovery of StuxNET and Flame malware targeting Iranian entities in 2012 has sparked a heated debate about the direction of cyberwarfare in the coming years. Late last year Iran was believed to have initiated a swarm of cyberattacks towards US banking websites, adding fuel to the fire.

So far, the implications have been mild. Experts believe, however, that 2013 will see serious activity on the cyber espionage front. It has been reported that local and federal-level agencies are actively searching to grow their ‘arsenal’, so to speak. McAfee’s recent report echoes the sentiment that Nation States and Armies will become more frequent targets this year as well. You’ve even heard President Obama’s administration approach the subject outwardly with last year’s Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

As McAfee research put it:

“Recently, we have seen several attacks in which the only goal was to cause as much damage as possible; we expect this malicious behavior to grow in 2013, …The worrying fact is that companies appear to be rather vulnerable to such attacks.”

The key thing to remember when dealing with infrastructure attacks and security in general is that ‘persistent threats’ are being used– ever evolving, updating routines that require certain lengths of time to eventually compromise a system, if a direct attack fails. A window of opportunity is evident, and one should try to close that window with better defenses and proactive judgement with your devices.

 

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