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If 2017 was the "full version" that will bring 2018?
Material posted: Publication date: 01-01-2018
History, which was earlier seen only in suspense novels have become a reality in the world of cybersecurity. That is the lesson of the last year.

This process is one British official called the "hollywoodization". Probably the best example is the attack of the virus-the extortioner WannaCry that occurred in may.

The idea is that hackers with possible links to Russia, steal the code from the national security Agency of the United States, will publish it, and then the North Korean hackers pereprofilirovanie it and eventually paralyze the work of the National health service of great Britain, had been ruled as an absolute fantasy.

WannaCry распространился в более чем 150 странахThe copyright holder of the illustrationWEBROOT
Image captionWannaCry spread in more than 150 countries

And yet this is exactly what, in the opinion of many, occurred.

The most realistic version is that the attack was designed to extort money, but something went wrong. And spread the virus much faster than expected.

Hackers have shown how blocking a computer virus-extortionist can be used as weapons, and how vulnerable to this threat many areas of our society.

There are fears that in the future we will see more high-tech methods of cyber attacks.

Another loud attack of the virus-the extortioner has occurred in the following month.

Known under the name NotPetya virus has been infecting computers through the updates of popular in Ukraine programs for document management. He also blocked computers ransom.

According to some researchers, the goal here was to disrupt the work, not to get money.

Кибер-атака на Украине стала одной из самых масштабныхThe copyright holder of the illustrationTWITTER/@ROZENKOPAVLO
Image captionNotPetya Cyber attack paralyzed Ukraine

Real consequences

It soon became clear that any firm with a subsidiary or office associated with Ukraine, could suffer. The virus has spread around the world, according to some estimates, the losses of corporations amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Many believed that the attack by Russian hackers. Before that, they were suspected of hacking into the electric grid of Ukraine. "They have this apparent facade with virus-ransomware, which gives them the opportunity to say: "This is a crime, and it has nothing to do with us," says John Hulquist from the company FireEye, dealing with cybersecurity.

He has more than ten years following the Russian hacker activity and surprised at what's going on lately. "I did not expect that they can go so far," he says.

Кирен Мартин
Image captionMartin has accused Russia of the cyber attacks in the telecommunications and energy sectors, as well as the media.

Suddenly States started to carry out cyber attacks with devastating real world consequences.

It is obvious that there is a desire to increase the power of such attacks and to expand their boundaries. And no one yet knows at what stage it will stop.

In November, the head of the National cybersecurity center of Britain's Kieran Martin has accused Russia of the cyber attacks in the telecommunications and energy sectors, as well as the media.

Other kiberprestupniki also become more ambitious.

Data theft approximately 150 million people from the company Equifax were less innovative than other attacks, but nevertheless significant - in part because it showed how much personal data can be stored for one company, while the public does not understand how they got to her.

The former head of Equifax Shaun Kanak also indicates the hacking into American Commission on securities and stock exchanges as to another important event, as obtained by hackers information can be used for insider trading and market manipulation.

Distribution opportunities

This raises serious questions about the safety of the financial system.

Chinese cyberverse against the United States began to decline after the transaction concluded by the administration of Barack Obama. However, now in the arena there are other countries - is a sign that the opportunity for cyber attacks grows.

Companies involved in the study of such threats, noted the increased activity, particularly from Iran, and warned that, perhaps, this country should observe more closely.

In 2017 Iran accused of hacking systems of the British Parliament, which was briefly unavailable to users, and there are fears that Iranian hackers may have committed other attacks.

Эта фотография, сделанная 29 ноября 2017 года и выпущенная 30 ноября 2017 года официальным корейским центральным информационным агентством Северной Кореи (KCNA), сообщает о запуске ракеты Hwasong-15, которая способна достигнуть всех частей США.Holder illustration: AFP/KCNA
Image captionthe Relationship between North Korea and the international community remain strained due to the nuclear program

Geopolitics is closely connected with the situation in cyberspace.

In particular, increased tensions with North Korea could lead to more cyberactivist the DPRK.

"The financial sector, especially stock markets, major companies and energy infrastructure - are the places through which it will try to strike," says Cameron Colquhoun of the company for securing Neon Century. "This is a classic asymmetrical response," he explains.

In addition, the deterioration of the situation in the middle East and possible rupture of the nuclear deal with Iran may force Tehran to show themselves.

According to the FireEye, recently there has been a revitalization of two different groups of hackers are connected with Iran (known as APT 33 and 34), which may examine the financial, energy and telecommunications spheres.

"Information as a weapon"

In General, the number of countries in the Middle East, including Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, may well be ready to be involved in cyberattacks, and yet expand their opportunities.

Бывший директор ФБР Роберт МюллерThe copyright holder of the illustrationREUTERS
Image captionFormer FBI Director Robert Mueller is investigating possible Russian intervention in the US presidential election of 2016 year

Also, cyber attacks have become much more used to political struggle.

The servers of the US Democratic party was hacked in 2016, but a scandal since then has only grown. For hacking the servers of his staff complained and the current President of France Emmanuel macron.

British Prime Minister Theresa may in November lashed out at Russia, accusing the Russian authorities of meddling in elections and in cyber espionage. Russia such accusations consistently denied.

In December, the head of the British foreign Ministry Boris Johnson and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov also argued because of alleged Russia cyber attacks against Western countries.

The problem of interference in the political Affairs of another country, among other things, gave to understand that the results of cyberactivist not limited to cyberspace.

In the case of America, those of the Democratic party were obtained by hackers and then disseminated via a range of channels and social networks. In other words, the work of the hackers was only part of a larger operation.

If we consider cyberactivist in a narrow sense, it is possible to miss how deeply Russia has implemented it in a more extensive program, which is often denoted by the word "cyberwar".

This is part of a broader trend to use information as a weapon. And this applies not only to States.

Infrastructure in danger

The company and non-government structures are increasingly seeking to steal data and to publish them or to form information streams in accordance with their goals (or sometimes just to make money, affecting the markets).

The problem here is manipulating the flow of information and cyber security stands as only one of many aspects.

So what's next?

There are fears that the rise of cyberattacks and the increasing number of those who are able to fulfill them, portends big trouble. In particular, many of the attacks can be aimed at critical infrastructure.

ХитроуThe copyright holder of the illustrationGETTY IMAGES
Image captionwhether a cyber attack can cause severe problems, such as a catastrophic systems failure, British Airways, took place in may?

Before it was mostly about pre-placing malicious code in the future to take the attack, but now, perhaps, we will witness the breaking into telecommunications systems, airports and power plants.

Cyber attacks are becoming part of foreign policy and defence and is increasingly used as a means of struggle, and not simply treated as hypothetical scenarios.

Agreed norms of behavior in cyberspace has not yet appeared, so be prepared for surprises in the coming year.

Gordon Korera


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