Overview: Cyber Threats

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Author: Paul Meyer
Senior Fellow, The Simons Foundation Canada | Chair, Canadian Pugwash Group | Senior Advisor, ICT4Peace

Cyberspace, the broad term for the system of networked computer systems for which the Internet is the chief embodiment, is a unique, human-created environment. The potential of information and communication technology to benefit humanity is vast and the growth in its use world-wide has been exponential. Today close to four billion people are connected to the Internet and a community of “netizens” has emerged.

Unfortunately, the growth of cyberspace has not been matched by a similar development of global governance for it. Even more worrisome, is the degree to which cyberspace has become “militarized” with states developing capabilities, not only for the defence of their own systems, but also offensive capabilities that threaten damage and destruction to entities beyond their borders. These trends within national security establishments of leading cyber powers have accelerated and the detrimental impact of cyber operations on civilian interests has grown. A narrative of “cyber war” has been espoused by major states, depicting this remarkable product of human ingenuity as just another “war-fighting domain”.

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It seems to me if you want a job and you are trained well enough our Canadian Security Establisment should be a good launch point.comment image

Sometimes Information Technology Companies need to know that there are places to find unique individuals who can protect them against cyberattacks like Lime Connect.

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Adam Wynne

What role would geomagnetic and solar storms have on cyber-security? In 1859, a large solar storm hit Earth – causing the electronics of the day (such as telegraphs) to go haywire. In more recent times (Cold War era, etc.) – atmospheric conditions and solar flares have almost sparked nuclear exchanges. Are current cyber systems shielded adequately from these phenomenon? Are operators able to identify these phenomenon vs. hostile attacks?

Adam Wynne

I think perhaps one of the earliest examples of cyber-warfare was the intercepted Zimmerman telegram in 1917 – between Germany and Mexico. Are there other examples of pre-internet “cyber” (electric, digital, etc.) warfare that should be considered within these contexts?

Adam Wynne

An interesting article from Will Dunn at the New Statesman (2018). Hybrid warfare – a mix of cyber and physical warfare – is an interesting concept which I have not heard previously. “Misinformation poses the most serious risk, says Futter, to “those ICBMs in the US and Russia that only need a few minutes to go.” Simple interference in communications – Unal points to satellites as a potential weak point – could be enough to stop the most important military decisions being made with a cool head. “Keeping weapons on high alert in a cyber environment,” says Futter, “is an… Read more »

With security being an important component to everyone’s organization one should take some time to learn about AI and how it can be used to protect ones corporate assets proactively.

Paul Meyer

From Paul Meyer:
This is the submission by ICT4Peace, written by Paul Meyer for the UN Open-Ended Working group on Cyber Security, which will begin its work in September. (The UN Office of Disarmament Affairs has now posted it to the official site for the OEWG: https://www.un.org/disarmament/open-ended-working-group/ .)
This is the submission itself:

I had only learned recently of the CSA(Canadian Security Agency) recently as my education in Information security demanded it. I did search on it and realized the agency’s name might have been miscommunicated or misinterpreted by me…and it was actually the CSE(Communications Security Establishment which I found the website for. It has a very interesting site (https://www.cse-cst.gc.ca/en/careers-carrieres) which I briefly looked over. The gist of it all is I am happy to know we have such an agency to watch over our national boundaries and protect us from Cyber threats abroad from Russia and China and even some of our… Read more »