Cyberspace has never been placed so much at the center of questions that are all more worrying than the others. Hacking on the sidelines of elections, attacks on state institutions or even related to energy. Should we be more and more afraid of the Internet and of connected and fully automated systems?
System protection giant Eugène Kaspersky gave an interview to AFP at the World Telecom Congress which took place in Barcelona from February 27 to March 2, 2017. The expert gives an update on new threats and the reigning atmosphere in cyberspace.
Eugène Kaspersky recalls that in an electoral context, the current cybernetic threat tends to influence the results, and this, through the hacking of email addresses intended for the recovery of files that could compromise a particular candidate. An example ? The cyberattack that targeted the American Democratic Party in June 2016, the United States having blamed Russia.
However, it could be that the risk relates directly to the outcome, because « Young people no longer necessarily want to go to a polling station, but they could participate in the elections if it were possible from their mobile », indicates Eugène Kaspersky, a means that will surely see the light of day soon. In this case, if the device is not sufficiently secure, the result could be modified by a hacker.
Other threats hover, particularly with regard to the world of industry where practically everything is automated and connected. The targets are multiple and concern both private and public. Saudi Aramco was attacked in 2012, while in 2016 Ukraine’s electricity grid was hit. In 2007, a Russian cyberattack even targeted the Internet throughout Estonia.
What if cyberspace was the site of confrontations between states? It would seem that the Russian attack on the Estonian Web in 2007 is a case that will remain unique and will surely remain so. According to Eugene Kaspersky, “we will never experience cyberwar because states are aware that if one country attacks another, the latter will retaliate and the consequences will be equally important on both sides. This creates a kind of cold war climate, like the nuclear age. »
Cybercrime and cyberespionage are most of the time the work of hackers, talented former engineers or others precisely targeting countries, institutions or even companies. If it is complicated to know where the attacks come from, the most used languages are English, Russian and simplified Mandarin (Chinese) for cyber espionage and cybercrime mainly concerns Russia which has both the best engineers and the worst offenders.
Sources: West France – Le Monde