Expert warns: Computer hackers becoming major threats to govts

A global cybersecurity expert recently warned that computer hackers are becoming major threats to governments, which could to lead instability in the long run.

“I think governments around the world will struggle on this more and more because people in power use everything available to fight their enemies and protect themselves from being removed from power,” Marc Goodman, said in the PilipinasCon 2018, a Forum on Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things held recently at the Enderun Colleges in Taguig City. Goodman is the founder of the Future Crimes Institute and chair for Policy, Law and Ethics at Singularity University, a Silicon Valley think tank.

He pointed out that governments around the world do not possess the necessary tools to tackle the powerful cybercriminals “because people in power use everything available to fight their enemies and protect themselves from being removed from power.”

“We are not ready to subscribe to this cynical view of people in power, but we acknowledge this knowledgeability on cybersecurity and we hope our own officials will see the merit of reviewing our present election system and put more safeguards in place,” he added.

It should be noted that US special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted last week 13 Russians of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election. The Russians were charged with running a huge but hidden social-media trolling campaign aimed at helping Republican Donald J. Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Russian government has denied meddling in the US election.

A few days after the Mueller indictment announcement, US intelligence chiefs said Russians are going to try it again in the 2018 midterm elections.

In the open forum on the cybersecuirty forum, Assistant Secretary Alan Cabanlong of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) urged the telecommunications and banking industries to adopt stronger security measures because these two sectors are the most attractive to cybercriminals.

“The DICT is spearheading the changing of mind-set of the business leaders because they are currently thinking in a linear mode,” Cabanlong pointed out.

With a budget of P800 million, Cabanlong said the DICT has its hands full in familiarizing with new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning tools and other mission-critical applications.

He said the DICT is also investing in developing the cybersecurity capabilities of the country through the National Cyber Intelligence Platform. Furthermore, he said the system is also expected to provide proactive actionable intelligence and alerts to assist organizations implement the right measures to protect their financial assets, brands and customer reputations.

In an e-mail interview, network security provider Kaspersky Lab warned that the Philippines is vulnerable to cybercriminals and “should definitely place more defenses to protect its cyberspace.”

The company said it is combating not only the Dark Web but other malicious software because they tackle the source of the infection and cybercrimes are borderless whether it is the Dark Web or not.

It has been monitoring over the past few years, the so-called Dark Net resources, mostly The Onion Touter (TOR) network.

“And one thing that is immediately obvious is that the cybercriminal element is growing.”

“Although, the TOR infrastructure and cybercriminal resources are not on the same scale as the conventional Internet, we managed to find approximately 900 hidden services online at the time. The possibility of creating an anonymous and abuse-free underground forum, market or malware command and communicate server is attracting more and more criminals to the TOR network,” Kaspersky said.


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