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News

State-sponsored IT attacks predicted to get worse

Lieberman Software : 04 September, 2013  (Technical Article)
Lieberman Software has been polling attendees at Black Hat USA with the pessimistic result that cyber attacks sponsored by countries are likely to increase
State-sponsored IT attacks predicted to get worse

We’re losing the battle against state-sponsored cyber attacks and things are not going to improve any time soon, according to a new survey from Lieberman Software Corporation.

The survey of nearly 200 senior IT security professionals at Black Hat USA 2013 in Las Vegas revealed that:

* 58 percent of respondents believe we are losing the battle against state-sponsored attacks

* Shockingly 74 percent of respondents are not even confident that their own corporate network has not already been breached by a foreign state-sponsored hacker

* While a worrying 96 percent of respondents believe that the hacking landscape is going to get worse over time

Commenting on the findings, Martyn Croft, co-founder of the Charity Security Forum and CIO of The Salvation Army UK, said: “I'm not surprised by the figures and I'd certainly have to agree with the pessimistic view that it's probably going to increase. I guess a certain amount of inference from the known attacks e.g. Stuxnet would lead one to believe that it's become a commonplace occurrence.”  

Additionally, Amar Singh, ISACA Security Advisory Group London Chair, said: “I would have imagined this figure to be higher than 58 percent because most organisations will lose the battle if they end up on the target list of a state-sponsored attacker. The icing on the cake, from the malicious hacker’s perspective will be when the world fully embraces IPV6, the next generation internet protocol that will allow every single human being on this planet to own at least 2000 fixed and permanent cyberspace addressees. Think about the attack surface when your TV, watch, wristband and car’s engine have a unique cyber space address and will be always connected to cyberspace!”

As state-sponsored cyber attacks increasingly become a serious problem, many nations are building defensive as well as offensive techniques to deter attackers. This was recently demonstrated when North Korea announced it has built an army of 3000 cyber trolls to attack South Korean websites.

Philip Lieberman, President and CEO of Lieberman Software, said: “These types of attacks are very difficult to stop, almost impossible to attribute to a specific country, and a pain in the neck to anyone who gets caught in the middle of their battles.  As a citizen of one country being annoyed by another nation state, you have little recourse other than to bite your tongue, since any retribution or response is illegal. We cannot stop these attacks; we can only build taller and thicker walls to keep the hordes out.”

“The threat of state-sponsored attacks is extremely serious for government and commercial entities.  The probing of IT infrastructures in both environments is occurring 24/7, with attacks being launched on a regular basis.”

“The majority of organizations are prepared for amateur hackers and low-level criminals, but are completely ill-equipped to deal with today’s advanced nation-state foes. The most dangerous threats are highly personalized attacks designed for one-time use against specific individuals. Many state-sponsored attackers can now create perfect email attacks that inserts remote control software onto corporate networks. Most corporations and government agencies would benefit from better security training, documented security processes, and enterprise-level products that can manage and secure powerful privileged accounts that grant access to critical IT assets,” continued Lieberman.

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