Posted by: Greg Ness | November 10, 2017

Western, Digital Society is more Vulnerable to Cyber Mayhem

Two Ominous Warnings from the US and Across the Pond

For the most part westerners live in open societies.  And many of them are undergoing accelerating connectivity across almost all aspects of their culture.  There is a dystopian underbelly to this, which was recently brought out in a prescient SiliconAngle interview on the weaponization of social media and search by 2020 and a disturbing panel at the Park City Future in Review tech conference.

They immediately suggest a historical precedent for the role of trust and access, even in a city with high walls and a formidable army.

Trust and Access and the Fall of Troy (The Burning of Troy by Johan Georg Trautmann)

 

Burning of Troy

You can view the panel in its entirety via this link but I’ll summarize. You can also read the coverage in Newsweek.

  • Experiments in cyber mayhem are becoming increasingly powerful and sophisticated.
  • Chaos and mayhem campaigns target infrastructure, groups and individuals.
  • No one connected to the internet is immune, even if protected by the current security stack, per Ukraine’s Cyber Czar.
  • Social media and critical systems are fair game as targets for fake news and targeted pulse campaigns using behavioral science aimed at voters.
  • The recent NotPetya attack targeted Ukraine yet spread in days to shut down critical infrastructure. More are coming.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that trust and access are critical factors for the survival of the western “open” society. And methods for weakening these societies are being tested in Ukraine and some of these early tests have already spilled across borders, shutting down critical systems at hospitals and shipping companies globally.

DmytroFire

Over the last three years the Russians have aimed to “disrupt, destroy the West’s presence [in Ukraine],” per Ukrainian cyber czar Dmytro Shymkiv (pictured). At times most of Ukraine’s infrastructure was impacted. That leads to a bigger discussion across the pond.

As tools become more sophisticated and enable less talented hackers to become more powerful, will western defenses address the trust and access problems with the existing security stack or experience a massive Troy-like breach against the very commercial and social fabric of western civilization?

Read more at SiliconAngle: It’s Time for a Cyber Security Reboot.

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