Cyber Intelligence is NOT Limited to These Two Agencies
While you were being distracted by inane presidential posts and accusations of fake news, real news was being made in the government intelligence organizations. Since last September there have been two major releases of secret cyber weapons leaks. The National Security Agencies tools were released by a mysterious group calling themselves “The Shadow Brokers,” which I initially wrote about here. Then, several weeks ago Wikileaks published tools lost by the Central Intelligence Agency which I wrote about here.
So the two leading cyber spying agencies of the most powerful nation in the world had many of their cyber weapons exposed in less than a year. If that isn’t deeply concerning to you as an American citizen or even more broadly, as a citizen of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-cooperative countries, then you should more closely examine what the mission of these agencies are: They are not here to spy on citizens, they exist to keep the United States safe and further the interests of the country you live in.
The CIA and NSA leaks are not the only rumblings currently rocking nation-state intelligence organizations. This article describes some of the back-and-forth of a cyber cold war. It enumerates many recent events surrounding these leaks and other activity such as arrests and “official” revelations of the cyber-spying ability of the US. The article contains lots of speculation and guessing about what is secretively going on between the US an possibly Russia. Make no mistake, this is definitely an attack on the US. Have you seen any Russian cyber weapons leaks? Chinese? Israeli? Nope.
I find this stuff fascinating, especially the fact that with the vast access to public information today, you can piece together a lot of very different sources and come up with a highly plausible scenarios of this secretive cyber war.
I have to agree with the author that there is something big going on and the public won’t know for sure for a long time how the hacking tools were leaked or who specifically is “attacking” the US by releasing these tools. That Russia is behind the leaks is a good guess, however I disagree with the author that Russia is the only country that has both the ability and motivation to attack the US like this.
As I have stated in the past, building cyber weapons is not that difficult in comparison to physical weapons like nuclear bombs. To get away with building a nuke today, you need an army of PhD scientists and engineers, significant industrial capacity and need to expend extreme effort to keep the program under wraps. All a cyber weapon program requires is a few hackers, computers and the internet. No PhD required, many of the best hackers in the world had not graduated high school.
So, North Korea has built nuclear weapons. Do you think they can build cyber weapons? And why limit our guesses to our most notorious enemies, really any nation can do this.
Oh, and so can many big corporations, which have exactly the same talent, have the money and are producing a myriad of spy devices that you carry around in your pocket every day.
Posted in Cyber Security by Mark with .