International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Cyber Warfare Behavior and Beyond

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CrowdStrike, a U.S.-based cyber-security company, has released its annual Global Threat Report 2013

The report offers insight into the evolving behaviors of cyber attackers, naming groups in China, Iran, Russia, North Korea, and Syria that are responsible for some of the world’s most recent and visible online attacks.

The report reflects some interesting and disturbing trends in malicious activity.

Some notable mentions:

  • Strategic web compromise a.k.a “watering hole” is a tactic used by malicious actors to compromise and infect targets of interest when they visit industry-related websites. The Council on Foreign Relations was a victim this past year.
  • There have been significant improvements in capability and more activity from actors in the Middle East especially those connected with the Syrian government. Spillover from regional conflicts, such as the Syrian civil war and Arab Spring-type events can result in increased activity in unexpected areas such as Western media.
  • Russia has conducted intelligence collection operations against a variety of global victims with a focus on the energy sector. 

The data collected through CrowdsStrike’s Report offers a good summary of what happened in 2013 and the attacks to come in 2014. This goes into developing more effective defenses and identifying advanced threats and targeted attacks using big-data technologies.

I’m interested to see how this report will go into help protect and obfuscate malware, especially in times of increased targeting of attacks around major events such as the Olympics, the 2014 G20 Summit, major national elections, and protests. With increasing shifts in the cyberworld, I question the breadth and method of criminal law to protect public interests. 

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