Kasper­sky se­cu­rity soft­ware in fo­cus as US-Rus­sia cy­ber-ten­sions rise

The Nation - - WORLD -

THE SE­CU­RITY soft­ware firm Kasper­sky has be­come the fo­cal point in an es­ca­lat­ing con­flict in cy­berspace be­tween the United States and Rus­sia.

The Rus­sian-based com­pany has been ac­cused of be­ing a ve­hi­cle for hack­ers to steal se­cu­rity se­crets from the US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency, and was banned by all Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment agen­cies last month.

But it re­mains un­clear if Kasper­sky was part of a scheme or an un­will­ing ac­com­plice in an es­pi­onage ef­fort.

The soft­ware firm has ar­gued it has no ties to any gov­ern­ment and said in a re­cent state­ment it is sim­ply “caught in the mid­dle of a geopo­lit­i­cal fight”.

But the lat­est ac­cu­sa­tions high­light what some see as a sim­mer­ing cy­ber­war be­tween the two pow­ers.

“Cur­rently, we’re los­ing,” said James Lewis, a fel­low with the Wash­ing­ton-based Cen­ter for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies.

“It’s not the kind of con­flict we’re used to.”

The Kasper­sky al­le­ga­tions come in the wake of an ap­par­ent Rus­sian­led ef­fort to ma­nip­u­late so­cial me­dia and in­flu­ence the 2016 US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Rus­sia has an ad­van­tage be­cause “they have fig­ured out how to use our civil lib­er­ties against us and there’s not much we can do about it,” Lewis said.

“We don’t have a group that does this kind of psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare and we don’t have the le­gal au­thor­ity to de­fend against it.”

Peter Singer, a New Amer­ica Foun­da­tion strate­gist and au­thor who has writ­ten on 21st cen­tury war­fare, agreed that Rus­sia is gain­ing ground in this cy­ber con­flict.

“If it’s a ‘cy­ber­war,’ it is a akin to a Cold War-style back-and-forth of ev­ery­thing from steal­ing se­crets to po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence op­er­a­tions,” Singer said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Thailand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.