Are we mov­ing into an era of crim­i­nal - and state - driven to­tal cy­ber-war? Let OPSWAT’s man tell you what you should be ter­ri­fied of…

Australian T3 - - OPINION -

The threat of cy­ber-at­tacks is in­creas­ing. Crim­i­nals can find rich pickings on the in­ter­net, and ex­trem­ist groups and to­tal­i­tar­ian govern­ments have built up cadres of se­cu­rity pro­fes­sion­als and de­vel­op­ers, boost­ing their pres­ence on the dark web. Here’s ev­ery­thing you need to know.

Mo­ti­va­tion Many cy­ber crim­i­nals are sim­ply look­ing for money and fame among their fel­lows, oth­ers are mo­ti­vated by ide­o­log­i­cal or po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions.

Fund­ing Get­ting emails from Nige­rian fraud­sters may seem funny to you, but the fact is that much cy­ber-crime is funded by the masses who fall for spam, phish­ing and ran­somware at­tacks. The mas­sive bank heist seem­ingly con­ducted from Rus­sia in Fe­bru­ary proves that mal­ware-borne at­tacks can pro­vide huge payouts.

Then there’s the govern­ment-funded side. Many of the state ac­tors are fo­cused on es­pi­onage, but can also en­act phys­i­cal at­tacks, as seen with the fa­mous Stuxnet worm used to sab­o­tage the Ira­nian nu­clear pro­gram.

Who? Coun­tries in­clud­ing the United States, China, South Korea and, yes, Aus­tralia em­ploy spe­cial op­er­a­tions as a part of their cy­ber de­fence strat­egy. Al­though sur­veil­lance

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