Cyber terrorism, cyber crime, malware, hacking – this arena has come of age with the threat to critical infrastructure like power plants, traffic systems, electrical grid, water, pipelines, hospitals, air traffic control systems, financial institutions, etc. now being a reality. We have written briefly about this very complicated, and emerging medium for both terrorism and crime. One may consider giving a bit more weight to the propagandist theory because what we are seeing is that while there is much media coverage that blames Russia or China; there doesn’t seem to be a lot of disclosure of the fact that the real hub of shady cyber criminals and money laundering has been Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, etc). The other aspect that is being ignored is the extremely poor state of security of these critical systems. There is no need to connect every system to the “Internet”. This recent crop of designation heavy IT professionals seem to only be capable of checking off the basic vendor recommended security settings and are no match to the craftier hackers who are often an amalgamation of technologists, criminals, soldiers and intelligence operatives.
Tribune-Review reporter Andrew Conte joins us to discuss how the lines between online thefts and all-out warfare continue to blur as hackers become more effective at attacks that threaten to cause serious economic damage. (90.5 WESA)