Countries have discovered cyber space and are using it for their diplomatic, military and economic needs. Is it precisely the cyber world that is stopping large and powerful countries from physical attacks?

The cyber world is a virtual space of action for criminals, diplomats and spies. The relative anonymity of the network makes it difficult to understand "who's against whom", and worse - what is the motivation of the various factors operating in the space. In recent years, the line between criminal organizations and countries has become very blurred, and recent events allow us a rare glimpse into this world saturated with shadows.

According to the well-known statement of the military theorist von Klausowitz, "war is nothing but a continuation of policy by other means." In a paraphrase, it can be said that cyber is but "the continuation of the war by other means." We saw a fresh example of this just a few weeks ago, as part of a series of violent incidents between the Indian Army and the Chinese Army in the Ladakh region that erupted in June. Since the day of the conflict, a number of sites in India have been attacked in a denial of service (DDoS) attack, which according to Indian sources came from the Chengdu area in China.

It appears that government and financial sites have been attacked. It is possible that the attack we saw was a kind of "trailer" for more aggressive activities by the Chinese. Officials in India point to 2 attack groups that are affiliated with the Chinese military and usually act against political opponents. The Chinese military is known to have high cyber capabilities that it uses to gather intelligence about enemy armies, steal intellectual property and spy on senior officials in many countries around the world, and there is great fear among Indian authorities of such attacks.

The Government of India, aware of the military and cyber inferiority in the face of Chinese power, has chosen a different tactic to respond to what it perceives as Chinese aggression. Immediately after the attack, the government called for a ban on the use of dozens of Chinese applications, most notably Tiktok, on the pretext that they were being used as spyware for Beijing.

It seems on the face of it a “milky” response, but the meaning is much deeper and more painful. India is the market with the most downloads of the app, and ByteDance, Tiktok's parent company expected to bring in about a billion dollars from advertising in India this year. Other apps that will be banned are Alibaba's browser and the popular messaging software Wechat. Worse, the ban on the use of tiktok will extend beyond the borders of India - the US government is currently considering banning the use of tiktok, and with it Turkey, Denmark, Australia and Hong Kong. The cumulative economic damage could reach billions of dollars.

China is not the only country that uses cyber tools to solve problems. North Korea, which is isolated from the world and suffers from severe sanctions that limit its trade capacity, suffers from an economic crisis that threatens the stability of the regime. What is the solution? Send the army of hackers to solicit cash around the world (virtual). The state estimates that it added about $ 2 billion to its depleted coffers last year from cybercrime. For example, the Lazarus / HIDDEN COBRA attack groups have been operating since May 2019 to steal credit cards of U.S. citizens from online stores around the world. The same group has been working in recent months on a campaign that used BEC-Business Email Compromise tactics to trick victims into sending money fraudulently, which would eventually reach the regime in Pyongyang.

Common to all the activities we reviewed is that countries have discovered cyber space and are using it for their diplomatic, military and economic needs. Cyber enables assigned and poor countries (such as North Korea and Iran) to obtain cash and knowledge (which they will use to develop weapons) and larger and more powerful countries to "release steam" without getting into a widespread military confrontation. In the long run, it seems that the economic importance of the Internet space is rising, and countries will certainly use it as leverage to achieve their diplomatic goals.

 source: International news agencies

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post