13 Nov 14. The Big One: A Major Cyberattack will happen in next Decade!
Almost two-third of technology experts expect a “major” cyber attack somewhere in the world that will cause significant loss of life and tens of billions of dollars of property loss by 2025. A survey recently released by the Pew Research Center found that many of analysts expect disruption of online systems like banking, energy and health care to become a pillar of warfare and terrorism. The survey asked over 1,600 technology experts whether a major attack that would cause “widespread harm to a nation’s security and capacity to defend” would be launched within the next 11 years. Sixty-one percent said yes. It’s already beginning to happen, several of the researchers noted. One recent example given was an attack on Apple’s iCloud data storage system earlier this month, which some security experts believe was linked to the Chinese government. Another was the July attack on JPMorgan. Some in the White House wonder if it was orchestrated by the Putin regime in Russia in retaliation for US support of Ukraine, the New York Times reported. As critical infrastructure moves online, cyber attacks could take out financial systems, the power grid and health systems, wreaking as much damage as bombs, the experts said. There’s already been “a Pearl Harbor event,” said Jason Pontin, editor of the MIT Technology Review. He cited the 2009 Stuxnet computer worm that disabled Iranian nuclear plant centrifuges. Many in the defense world believe the attack was launched by the United States and Israel. Futurist Jamais Cascio thinks cyber attacks will become part of military engagements. “Cyber is a force-multiplier,” he said. “We’ll likely see a major attack that has a cyber component, but less likely to see a major cyber-attack only.
Others aren’t so convinced. Those who answered “no” to Pew’s question said security fixes are steadily getting better and the “good guys” are still willing the cyber security arms race. While credit cards might get hacked and personal information leaked, “it’s less and less likely that say all pacemakers in a major city will stop at once, or that cyber attacks will cause travel fatalities,” said Paul Jones, a computer technologist and professor at the University of North Carolina.
Its one reason why many security watchers were hopeful that the Obama administration’s Cybersecurity Framework, released earlier this year, would force companies that preside over infrastructure components to take these precautions, but many in the technology community were disappointed that the guidelines did not include hard mandates for major operators to fix potential security flaws. Speaking to Pentagon reporters in June, Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of US Cyber Command and director of the NSA, offered his own projection for the future of cyberwar in the year 2025, which would look a lot like regular war with more cyber activities thrown in. For evidence of that, look to the integrated Field Manual for Cyber Electromagnetic Activities, a first of its kind how-to guide that combined cyber operations with jamming and other electromagnetic activities associated more traditionally with combat operations. (Source: Cyber Security Intelligence/ein news/11aliveusa today)
13 Nov 14. MI6 Documents allow Spying on Lawyers. Top-secret documents, released in a legal case, show the security services have permitted their operatives to intercept communications between lawyers and their clients. Extracts of documents from MI5, MI6 and GCHQ were released as part of a legal action brought by lawyers from the campaigning charity Reprieve on behalf of two Libyan men. The papers, disclosed in a tribunal case, are controversial because, communications between lawyers and their clients are covered by “legal professional privilege”, or LPP, which means that law enforcement agencies are supposed to respect their privacy.
But the guidelines indicate the security services have been