US no in­no­cent when it comes to cy­ber­war

The Star Early Edition - - INSIDE - Farouk Araie

The diplo­matic stand-off be­tween the US and Rus­sia over al­le­ga­tions that Rus­sian hack­ers were ac­tively in­volved dur­ing the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion must be cau­tiously re­viewed.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, 17 fed­eral in­tel­li­gence in­sti­tu­tions have con­cluded that Rus­sia was be­hind the hack­ing in an at­tempt to in­flu­ence the elec­tions.

Cy­ber­war is be­ing waged by ev­ery na­tion on earth.

His­tory grimly re­minds us that dur­ing the pres­i­dency of for­mer US pres­i­dent Ge­orge Bush the US in­tel­li­gence es­tab­lish­ment pro­duced fake doc­u­ments claim­ing that Iraq had an arse­nal of of­fen­sive weapons, in­clud­ing mis­siles, capable of threat­en­ing neigh­bour­ing na­tions.

Those claims were proven to be false, at a cost of one mil­lion Iraqis dead.

Cy­ber 9-11 is a re­al­ity across the globe,in­clud­ing the US.

Any num­ber of ma­li­cious ac­tors, from pow­er­ful states to so­phis­ti­cated global criminals, could lever­age an at­tack against the US us­ing a va­ri­ety of stealthy meth­ods.

Dur­ing 2015, there were 228 000 cy­ber in­ci­dents in the US.

Hil­lary Clin­ton’s un­wise de­ci­sion to use a pri­vate e-mail server was an in­vi­ta­tion for any hacker, pri­vate or state spon­sored.

In mid-2015, Chi­nese hack­ers stole the se­cu­rity clear­ance of more than 22 mil­lion Amer­i­cans in what was the largest and most cat­a­strophic cy­ber­data breach in US his­tory.

The US is it­self a world leader in global hack­ing.

The Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency gained ac­cess to 258 tar­gets in 89 coun­tries. Its global hack­ing op­er­a­tions av­er­age 280 per year.

Rus­sia, China and the US have fallen into each other’s cy­ber cross-hairs. JOHANNESBURG

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