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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Adam Wynne

While this article is not precisely related to cyberattacks, it is an alarming notion of cyber-security – namely that information is being censored during COVID-19 on many social media platforms within the Chinese context. This potentially translates to health, safety, and security concerns for populations offline. What are folks thoughts on this? Title: Censored Contagion: How Information on the Coronavirus is Managed on Chinese Social Media Author: Ruan, Lotus; Knockel, Jeffrey; and Crete-Nishihata, Masashi Publication(s): The Citizen Lab (University of Toronto) Date: 3 March 2020 Link: https://citizenlab.ca/2020/03/censored-contagion-how-information-on-the-coronavirus-is-managed-on-chinese-social-media/ Note(s): The article is quite long, but is interesting. There are additionally interesting… Read more »

Adam Wynne

This article bridges cyber-security and pandemics. It is alarming to hear that COVID-19 disinformation campaigns are being undertaken. Title: Six Reasons the Kremlin Spreads Disinformation About the Coronavirus [Analysis] Author: Kalenský, Jakub Publication(s): Digital Forensic Research Lab (Atlantic Council) Date: 24 March 2020 Link: https://medium.com/dfrlab/commentary-six-reasons-the-kremlin-spreads-disinformation-about-the-coronavirus-8fee41444f60 Article Excerpt(s): “A recent internal report published by the European Union’s diplomatic service revealed that pro-Kremlin media have mounted a “significant disinformation campaign” about the COVID-19 pandemic aimed at Europe. Previous statements by Western officials, including acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Philip Reeker, warning of the campaign suggested that its… Read more »