The recent U.S. intelligence report details an influence campaign, ordered by Vladimir Putin, that aimed to accomplish the following:
Undermine the public’s faith in the US democratic process;
Criticize and attack Secretary Clinton;
Harm Secretary Clinton’s electability or possible presidency.
Sign the petition to President Obama: (over 160k signed so far)
Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s ties with Trump campaign
Say the word “Cybersecurity” and most people think it’s not their problem. Until you’ve been hacked. The number of Americans who have used (or still do) passwords like “123456” or “password” is legion, and the problem is that many individuals get hacked by pros and never know it…they move through your computer to their more valuable targets.
(There’s a free app called Lastpass that makes it very difficult for your personal and/or business passwords to be hacked. It is considered by many to be the best password manager application out there.
But have no fear, Trump is putting Rudy in charge. He saved New York City ya know, in a previous life.
U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has appointed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as his special advisor on cyber security but within hours of his appointment, security experts were pointing out the glaring lack of security in Giuliani’s own security company website. These included the use of old, unpatched software, the lack of a firewall and multiple open ports. Giuliani, a lawyer who graduated from the New York University School of Law, was elected Mayor of New York City in January 1994 and served two terms until the end of December 2001. Since 2002, his company Giuliani Partners has offered security consulting under the Giuliani Security & Safety subsidiary while, at the same time Giuliani also opened a legal practice in Manhattan.
It’s fair to argue that Trump might know a little bit more about cybersecurity than he did in his first debate when his answer was almost incoherent babble: “We came in with the Internet. We came up with the Internet. And I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the Internet, they’re beating us at our own game. ISIS. So we had to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a huge problem. I have a son—he’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers. It’s unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe, it’s hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing. But that’s true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester. And certainly cyber is one of them.” He hadn’t learned much by the end of year when he stated “I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of the computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on,” he said. “We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind of security we need.”
Can We Play a Game?
It now is certain that Russian hacking played a role in the Presidential election, and hopefully investigations by Congress or an Independent body will sort out the facts and recommendations to prevent more shenanigans. This action by the Russian government adds to their body of work, one that has amazing growth potential. “Whether you’re part of the 37% of Republicans who view Russia favorably, or you have a general disdain for the autocratic nation, or you just couldn’t give less of a shit, you can at least recognize a cyber superpower when you see one. The mention of Russia usually conjures up visions of vodka, James Bond era spies, and bears riding unicycles to many Americans, but the nation has become a dominant force across all facets of the internet, only surpassed by China. The internet has become the fifth dimension of war (the others being land, sea, air, and space). Nations have been building their cyber/information warfare capabilities since the mid 1970s. The U.S. was one of the first to capitalize on its benefits, intercepting Soviet microwave communication signals during the Cold War. Since then, the nation’s cyber capabilities have rapidly evolved, providing a massive strategic edge in every military and political conflict since then.
Today, three nations have risen to become “cyber superpowers”, each with their own unique motivations and goals:
Heavily targets corporate secrets, military design documents. Values control over communication systems to spy on activists and dissenters. Notable attacks: Google, Lockheed Martin (unconfirmed, substantial evidence).
Military advantage – intelligence, battlefield dominance, preparation. Political motivation, generally attempting to ensure themselves a position of power. Notable attacks: Estonia cyber attacks, “Ouroboros” malware in Ukraine.
Mass intelligence, espionage – what you don’t know can hurt you. Counter command and control, creating military advantage by disrupting enemy trust and communications .Notable attacks: Stuxnet malware, Flame malware.
Other notable nations include Israel, Iran, and North Korea.