Risks and protection against cyber attacks

Blerim Abedini, the Center for Security Studies and Development- Macedonia (CSSD).

The state-sponsored and non-state hackers are increasing exponentially. Cybersecurity problems and attacks cause billions of dollars in losses every year. Every year, thousands of cybersecurity problems are identified in technologies from well-known vendors, who still have hundreds of security problems each year. Cyber Security Forum 2017 (CSF 2017) is an international forum on cybersecurity with the participation of international and Russian experts, representatives of the IT industry (Microsoft Inc.) and government authorities.

There are several types of person, commonly called “threat actors.”

  • Cyber criminals:  They attack systems and steal information for profit.
  • Hackers: Some hackers are professionals (who work to benefit companies and improve security), but there are malicious hackers.
  • Hacktivists: These people are politically or socially motivated. For example, organizations like Anonymous fall under this designation.
  • Cyber terrorists: While these are not common, they could become common soon.
  • Nation states: Nation states are launching cyber-attacks against other countries.

The state-sponsored and non-state hackers are increasing exponentially. So, a group of hackers can have massive impact on military installations, government operations, critical infrastructure and potentially even weapons systems. So, growing in conventional military advantage will raise cyber-attacks.

Cybersecurity problems and attacks cause billions of dollars in losses every year. For example, the smart alarm SimpliSafe hack that affected 300,000 devices, and the only possible fix was to replace all of them. The UK company TalkTalk was hacked and lost about £50 million. They also lost more than 100,000 customers, and their stock value declined by 20%. A car hack in 2015 resulted in 1.4 million cars being recalled by Chrysler, the Sony hacking scandal that resulted in millions of dollars in losses. We see examples of this every day: Cars have been hacked, a popular U.S. smart home alarm system was hacked, implantable medical devices like pacemakers have been hacked, plane systems have been hacked, critical infrastructure like a power grid and a dam were hacked, mobile banking apps have been hacked, smart city technology has been hacked.

Every year, thousands of cybersecurity problems are identified in technologies from well-known vendors, who still have hundreds of security problems each year. Some experts predict that by 2020 there will be 200 billion connected things as cars, planes, homes, cities, and even animals-connected.

The introduction of fly-by-wire systems in air crafts enabled more precise computer guidance, better control and quicker advanced flight maneuvers. These systems are providing extensive information about the environment and ground movements.

Information Technology is not only incorporated in the weaponry of modern warfare, but has also obtaining intelligence data and strategic planning. Information has become crucial to identify enemies due to the absence of uniforms in civilian areas. This invisibility is main question. Strategic use of Information Technologies such as satellite pictures, drone broadcasts and even Facebook and Twitter messages/accounts are now being used to find out more about the enemy, its movements and location. An ISIS Commander posted a selfie on Facebook. U.S. Intelligence investigated this message from social media and 22 hours later the place was found and bombed.

A massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack knocked offline at least 68 Philippine government websites  in response to an international court ruling that denied China’s territorial claims in the region. Just days later, Vietnam’s national airline and major airports were targeted in a series of attacks by the Chinese hacking group 1937CN. The Chinese attempted to interfere with U.S. military drones by using appropriate GPS jamming technics, which prevent U.S. aircraft from conducting surveillance missions in the Spratly Islands- South China Sea.

Some of advancing in IT Information Technologies in Russia has REGNUM- The National Technology Initiative in Russia. On June 2016, has announced program for building software of language in Russian until 2035. Also, the “road map” of the program prescribes the introduction new technological approach as it teleportation.
So both, there will be used quantum computing, neuro-interfaces and teleportation. The Agency for Strategic Initiatives (Агентство стратегических инициатив-АСИ), plans to implement a security system for information and cyberphysical systems code-named “SafeNe”. These are specified  “smart systems” which planned to use by side of cyber physicists, which include networks of computing and physical components capable of interacting with each other, for example- robots, self-controlled cars, drone, etc. The cost of the program between years, 2017-2018 will be 10.8 billion rubles (192 million USD) supported by the federal budget and private investors.

Cyber Security Forum 2017 (CSF 2017) is an international forum on cybersecurity with the participation of international and Russian experts, representatives of the IT industry (Microsoft Inc.) and government authorities.

Cyber Security Forum 2017 was held On February 7, 2017,  in Moscow. The forum is a key part of the ‘Safe Runet Week’, the official Russian series of events of the International Safer Internet Day. For 10 years,  forum has transformedat so called i-Safety. The Cyber Security Forum is a platform for discussing a number of issues related to various aspects of cybersecurity,  the issue of industrial security and Internet industry, some of such are: digital literacy, digital security, regulation of infobase safety, etc. This is primarily oriented to the state and industry for renewing their activities aimed at preventing new cyber threats. Also for dialogue between the states, industry and specialized organizations in order to create a strong coalition against cybercrime worldwide. Are identified the main sources of cybercrime: theft of personal data, the use of gray mobile applications, phishing and others. Integrated approach to solving these problems is global step.  Also media literacy is seen as a person’s conscious ability to work with information that he receives from a variety of sources, and lack of skills of users as non-developed and non-educated. So important thing today is the educational work above non skilled users for protecting personal data. As part of the Cyber Security Forum, Microsoft  presented a digital culture rating. According to a Microsoft study, approximately 75% of Russians faced at least once  an internet risk. Based on the results of the survey, the countries were ranked according to the digital culture level – the Digital Civility Index (DCI). Russia took the 12th place among the 14 countries that took part in the survey. The DCI index, have categories of risks as: behavioral, risks of unwanted communications, sexual and reputational. In the survey, adults and adolescents from 14 countries of the world participated. The study showed that Internet threats are widespread in all countries. Dissapointements are losting of trust, stress and the desire of users to increase privacy in the network. A survey of the Russian audience showed that Russians, compared to users from other countries, are more exposed than others to behavioral risks: insults on the Internet (44% at an average level of 14% in the rest of the countries), as well as maltreatment in the network (47% vs. 20 %). Ms. Ulyana Zinina, corporate affairs director for Microsoft in Russia has explained how Microsoft is protecting negative phenomenas through network. For reducing the likelihood of risks in the network, Microsoft encourages stakeholders to join forces, and users to follow the key recommendations: not to publish or disclose personal information about themselves, treat with respect to other users, with cultural differences. In case of disagreement need avoiding hang labels and do not go over individuals.

So, we can see that cooperation inside the subject of the cyber security is in favor of the states in the world. Putting aside any activity in this regard will be given mean as opening roads for viruses for circulating in our personal data. Cyber security is in favor of any integrated society.


Cyber Security Forum 2017 (CSF 2017) –  Mеждународный Форум по кибербезопасности, https://runet-id.com/event/csf17/

Advanced Cyber Security Center, https://www.acscenter.org/news-events/cybersecurity_is_threatening_americas_military_supremacy/

Information Strategy at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. Https://informationstrategyrsm.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/modern-wars-how-information-technology-changed-warfare/

The Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/01/17/why-cybersecurity-should-be-the-biggest-concern-of-2017/#21ee52215218

REGNUM, The National Technology Initiative, (Программа «Национальная технологическая инициатива» -НТИ). Https://regnum.ru/news/society/2147845.html

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