Frontpage article in De Standaard about Cyberwar (and me in it)

De btandaard was preparing an article about Cyberwar after having read the new book about it by Clark.

It was published today with on the frontpage of De Standaard a great title 'The enemy is on the internet, cyberwar'. A better attentiongetter can hardly be imagined.

De Standaard is an important newspaper in Belgium and is read by decisionmakers all over the place. It has also the last year made several times place and time for the different aspects of cybersecurity (or lack of it) in Belgium.

Some important points were made

Everything that is digital can be read or intercepted (not alway very easy to do but with enough  and creativity everything can be broken)

There is no cyberwar but there are coordinated attacks during the course of wars or civil disturbances against different parties. It is very hard to prove that those attacks are directly linked to a government. Cyberterrorism is now mostlly limited to propaganda and by terrorist groups.

THe cybercriminals are much more sophisticated than before, make a lot  of money and have all the time of the world. The cyberattacks themselves have become much more sophisticated than ever before.

It is quite dangerous to link SCADA systems (water, electricity, transport and industrial processes) to the internet as they don't have the necessary degrees of security in their code and networks.

Some interesting points were made

The Belgian army has now a cyberdefense team (of 4 people sic) who try to defend the networks. It seems the networks have been hit so hard by attacks last year that there was no choice.

4 Belgian servers were used to attack South Korea last year when it was under a big cyberattack presumably by North Korea (who denied everything)

More than 1 million Belgian creditcards were blocked last year because they were compromised

The police estimate that about 68 million Euro was stolen online from Belgians last year. Only a fraction of that was declared to the police (as the banks and eshops prefer to pay the damage to keep their reputation intact).

There are for the moment some criminals investigations under way for Cyberespionage against Belgian enterprises in which commercially important information was stolen.

The Belgian cyberarmy has the official permission to hit back at an attacker (something quite dangerous in Cyberspace where you never know who is behind which server or uses it as a proxy)

And to end with the following hard to understand situation in Belgian

For the moment nobody controls the security of private utilities and there is no coordinated effort between the different securitycells throughout the official and private infrastructure.

The comments are closed.