CLOUDTWEAKS CONTRIBUTOR PROGRAM

Join the CloudTweaks thought leadership contributor program which includes a customized profile, branded identity page, newsletter marketing, social amplification and more...

The program is currently available to consultants, influencers or executive level contributors.

Cyber Warfare

Politics 2.0: The Age of Cyber Political Warfare

Cyber Political Warfare

Do you remember the last time hackers and cybercriminals determined the outcome of a presidential race? Of course not, because it’s never happened. It could happen now. Without even thinking about it, we’ve slipped into a new era. I would dub this the Age of Cyber-Political Warfare. This playing-field is thick with espionage, and it’s dominated by people who have little to no political clout. Instead, they have technical know-how.

It’s common knowledge that the internet is rife with identity theft. Social profiles, email, ecommerce sites, and mobile devices all provide excellent avenues for cyber-thieves. Oftentimes, it doesn’t take hacking skills to get information. The Snapchat employees who had their information stolen were victims of an email phishing scam. All the thief had to do was pretend to be Snapchat’s CEO and ask a single employee for payroll data.

hacks

In the case of Hillary Clinton, it wasn’t hard for a cybercriminal to reveal her email activities. Data security firm Kroll points out that the revelation didn’t even technically involve hacking. Rather, it’s a high-profile case of a compromised account. The compromiser, ‘Guccifer’ Marcel Lehel Lazar, used Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) to find out personal information about Sydney Blumenthal, who is a Clinton confidant. He used Open Source information to figure out Blumenthal’s email password. From there, he discovered Clinton was using a private server to email Blumenthal. Then, Guccifer published Clinton’s private email info online.

Guccifer was sentenced to four years in prison. Is that enough to deter an onlooker from copying his crimes? Apparently not, because Guccifer 2.0 has surfaced to release more stolen information. According to the original Guccifer, this kind of digital detective work is “easy… easy for me, for everybody.” Everybody can hunt down information that could potentially determine the result of a political election. This puts a brand new kind of power in the hands of the many. Anyone smart enough to follow trails of data online can be a player in the Age of Cyber-Political Warfare.

The biggest player here is Russia. The White House is certain that Russia’s state-sponsored hackers compromised Democratic National Committee email accounts, with the intent of influencing the election. Secureworks reports that the hackers used a phishing scam. They made it look like members of the Clinton campaign and the DNC were logging into Gmail accounts. The login page was fake, and through it the hackers gained login data. Reportedly, Russian hacking group Fancy Bear used Bitly to setup the malicious URLs, which read ‘accounts-google.com’ instead of accounts.google.com. Now Bitly isn’t just a customer experience platform and IBM partner. It’s an unwitting tool in the hands of malicious hackers.

Obama promised a proportional response to the hacks. What would cyberwar with Russia look like? If a ‘proportional response’ is coming, we’ll see the release of inside information about Vladimir Putin or other high-ranking Russian officials. But how this would influence Russian politics, no one can be sure. Russia could merely cite our desire to get revenge and brush any sort of leaks off as petty attempts to disparage Russian officials.

One thing is clear: to be a politician now, you have to be, at minimum, cognizant of cyber threats. While American politics is stuck in the binary of red vs. blue, the fluid and fast world of the web is a much more complex place. It’s a place where people wheel-and-deal on a multinational level. It’s a powerful place to reach people and to access their data. Politicians want to use the internet as a tool, but by doing so they’re placing their data and their information at risk. In the Age of Cyber-Political Warfare, that data will continue to be a weapon for invisible and powerful opponents.

By Daniel Matthews

Daniel Matthews

Daniel Matthews is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. Daniel received his Bachelor's in English from Boise State University in 2006, and is currently working on a book about the 2008 financial crisis. Widely-published online, he specializes in research and analysis that sheds light on the intersection of tech, business, and current affairs. Daniel is an avid writer and technology enthusiast whose mission is to bring journalistic integrity and informed opinions to his audience in ways that make them think differently about the world. You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

View Website
Tech comic
Cloud Comic
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Storage Overload
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Cold Boot
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - The Vatican
Why ‘Data Hoarding’ Increases Cybersecurity Risk

Why ‘Data Hoarding’ Increases Cybersecurity Risk

Data Hoarding The proliferation of data and constant growth of content saved on premise, in cloud storage, or a non-integrated ...
Istio 1.0: Making It Easier To Develop and Deploy Microservices

Istio 1.0: Making It Easier To Develop and Deploy Microservices

With the recent availability of Istio 1.0 it is not surprising that it continues to capture much attention from the ...
Imminent IoT Eye-Tracking Technologies To Transform The Connected World

Imminent IoT Eye-Tracking Technologies To Transform The Connected World

IoT Eye Tracking Smelling may be the first of the perceptible senses, but the eye is the fastest moving organ ...
Want to dip your toe into the cloud? Challenges of a Large Migration

Want to dip your toe into the cloud? Challenges of a Large Migration

Challenges of a Large Migration Migrating to the cloud can be a daunting task. First you have to go through ...
blcokchain contributor

Cryptographic Key Generation – It’s Time To Pay Attention

Cryptographic Key Generation When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only ...
My Fascination with Amazon Go

My Fascination with Amazon Go

Amazon Go Recently, Amazon unveiled the world’s first completely self-service, no checkout, grocery store — and it’s really captured the public’s imagination. Lines ...
The Cloud Has Your Data (Whether You Like It Or Not)

The Cloud Has Your Data (Whether You Like It Or Not)

Cloud Cleanup Anyone? Following on where we left off from my last two articles now we shift focus to what ...
Cloud Migration – 10 ‘Do it Right’ Tips

Cloud Migration – 10 ‘Do it Right’ Tips

Cloud Migration Tips Businesses continue to adopt the cloud at break neck speed. Inherent benefits like lower operational costs, no infrastructure overheads, and quick access to better technology make cloud a very attractive proposition for businesses, especially start-ups and SMEs ...
Technology Certification Courses

Top Five Technology Certification Courses To Choose From In 2018

Technology Certification Courses Gartner predicts that the global public cloud services market is projected to grow by 55 percent in the next three years and is expected to reach $383.3 billion by the end of 2020. Today, cloud computing helps enterprises ...
8 Cloud Characteristics Every ERP System Needs

8 Cloud Characteristics Every ERP System Needs

ERP System Cloud-based ERP systems offer many benefits to a growing organization. And those benefits are catching on in a big way in recent years. In fact, according to the RightScale State of the Cloud 2016 Survey, which has collected ...
Free Report: "Gartner Report: 2018 CEO Survey"

Free Report: “Gartner Report: 2018 CEO Survey”

Deep discipline is required for digital business. Read the full report to learn how to: Prepare for more deeply disciplined exploitation of the digital business changes ahead, Lock the leadership into winning through digital business, Drive business model changes and ...
Network Management Software Buyer Guide 2018

Network Management Software Buyer Guide 2018

This concise data-driven report covers the Network Management software landscape, as of August 2018. he 24-page report includes: Market Overview - Top 10 Network Management products in 2018, User reviews and vendor size data, In-depth look at the Top 3 ...
Key Findings of the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing Study

Key Findings of the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing Study

IDG Cloud Computing Study The results of the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing study highlight how interest in the technology isn’t fading and a growing number of companies are embracing it or at least want to do so. The survey, which ...