American analysts and observers note cyberspace tensions will rise
Ahead of the US presidential campaign and elections next year, there are growing concerns that United States rivals may increase their presence in cyberspace to influence the will of American citizens..
The issue of US cybersecurity is not only concerned about the American intelligence services and the expert community, but also by American lawmakers. Thus, Democrat Senator Chris Van Hollen, speaking at a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies dedicated to Russia, noted that all 50 states during the 2016 elections were recorded to one degree or another by Russian interference..
“The good news is that many states, in most cases, have taken cyber threats seriously and are making efforts to keep their electoral systems safe from cyber attacks. I want to make it clear right away that there is no evidence that Russia really changed the results in 2016. How exactly does Russia benefit from election interference? This creates division within the country. Obviously, if they interfere by supporting a specific candidate they know, it can influence the outcome of the election. Therefore, Russia and Putin benefit from interfering in our elections and in elections in Europe, “- said Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen..
Chris Van Hollen notes that the role of Congress in combating cyber threats, including countering disinformation, is extremely important. Florida International University cybersecurity expert Alexander Crowther notes that the adoption of a law aimed at combating disinformation could run into difficulties.
“It is very difficult to work on legislation related to information and disinformation. During the Cold War, the United States Information Agency existed, and it developed very well. It was eliminated as a result of peace processes in the 1990s. Therefore, the ability of the US government to create information is somewhat limited. There is also a huge animosity towards the United States government on the issue of propaganda. The Smith-Mundt Information and Education Exchange Act of 1948 is an excellent example – it effectively prohibits the US government from conducting propaganda activities in the United States, “the expert noted..
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Experts: rules for cyber warfare need to be created
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Speaking about external challenges in cyberspace, in particular from Russia, columnist for Wired and author of Sandworm, a book about Russian cyber tactics in Ukraine and beyond, Andy Greenberg notes that Moscow is honing its techniques by actively conducting cyberattacks in Ukraine.
“The first ever hacker-caused power outage that happened in Ukraine in December 2013. A real cyber war was going on in Ukraine, attacks followed one after another. The media, private companies, government agencies suffered from them. Russian hackers are using Ukraine as a cyber-attack testing laboratory to learn how to wage war. Writing about events in Ukraine was important not only for the sake of Ukrainians, but for the whole world, because what happened to Ukraine will sooner or later happen elsewhere. This is exactly what happened. A few days after my article, the same group of hackers launched the NotPetya malware in Ukraine, which spread throughout the world and became the most powerful attack in history, with losses of $ 10 billion, “Wired columnist Andy Greenberg said..
Alexander Crowter notes that Moscow has long been active in cyberspace. So in 2007, Estonia was subjected to cyberattacks, and in 2008 – Georgia. The United States also suffered from the actions of Russian hackers, but, according to the expert, their actions can hardly be called “cyberwar”.
“They work in the so-called gray zone. This is below the threshold of war. The concept of “war”, which is referred to in the US Charter, includes four components: damage or destruction of something, when people are suffering, when there is a loss of civilian population. If there is nothing of the listed in the list, then this is not a war, ”the expert emphasized.
Andy Greenberg notes that the problem of countering hacker attacks is global in nature and the world community needs to develop rules, as in the case of conventional warfare..
“We must try to hold each other back. We must approach this as a global society, adhering to certain standards, for example, not to use cyberattacks against civilians. It is necessary to develop some kind of Geneva Convention on Cyberwar. One of the Atlantic Council experts called for the creation of “no-fly zones” in cyber warfare, where you can be sure that you can attack military targets, but if you carry out a cyber attack on a hospital, then it is a war crime and you will go to The Hague. “.
Alexander Crowter, in turn, notes that it is necessary to teach people how to behave in cyberspace..
“90% of successful cyber attacks start with a phishing attack. Imagine a world in which three hundred and thirty million Americans do not click a suspicious link. Antivirus software developer McAfee conducted a study that says that even after you’ve taken a cybersecurity course for all of your employees, 18 to 21 percent are still going to click on a suspicious link. Imagine a country where people saw fake news and said, “Oh! So this is a fake! “- said Crowther.
Cybersecurity experts and observers point to the need for a responsible approach to the use of information technology and information obtained from the world wide web.
Journalist. Graduated Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Worked on the channel «1 + 1» and «Channel 5». On «Voice of America» since 2014. Was one of two correspondents «Voices of America», covering the Russian presidential elections in 2018 from Moscow. He pays attention to the topic of US-Ukrainian and US-Russian relations. Actively covered the case of Paul Manafort and Maria Butina.
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