The United States and China get most of the headlines, but there are other growing cyber threats

There is growing political tension between nations competing in a cyber-arms race, while cooperating nations are unable to agree to international cyber guidelines to address cyber-attacks. 

Targeted espionage and coordinated cyber-attacks continues to increase from 2012 through 2014, according to security company Symantec, in a report published earlier in the year.  Targeted attacks increased 42 percent in 2012 alone, as cyber criminals look for exploits and security back doors before patches are developed. 

China has also accused the United States of hacking and other cyber offenses, as both nations continue to develop their respective cyber arsenals.  White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice issued a stern verbal warning to China, saying the nation’s government must halt government-supported cyber attacks.

If not, the country could “undermine the economic relationship” between the United States and China.  Meanwhile, the United States government is frantically investing time and resources into cyber technologies, finding they don’t want to be left behind.   

Even if China limits cyber espionage attacks, continued intellectual property piracy and proprietary information theft remain significant problems.  Of the 141 suspected attacks from China, 81 percent reportedly targeted the United States, according to a 453-page report issued by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC).

In addition to China’s massive cyber effort against the United States, Iran, North Korea, and Eastern European hacker groups routinely target US-based targets.  The threat is so massive that London recently hosted a cyber “war games” event launching mock targets against financial institutions to gauge response ability to attack scenarios.    

The types of attacks from foreign governments and criminal attacks are evolving as the type of control and monetary incentive increase.  The Stuxnet malware infected Chevron’s computer networks, while a Russian nuclear power plant was also infected.  The group behind the Cryptolocker ‘ransomware’ malware likely generates millions of dollars – and continues to catch businesses without a data backup plan painfully aware.    
US and Chinese militaries will continue to add to their cyber defense and strategic offensive technologies, with the U.S. Army showing off its electronic capabilities.

Sources: CSO, RT, Christian Science Monitor

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