Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cyberattacks in West flag exposure in digital world



Cyberattacks in West flag exposure in digital world

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Firms and experts have been warning for years about the rising tide of online attacks – some state-orchestrated, some criminally motivated. AFP

Cyberattacks in West flag exposure in digital world

A series of high-profile cyberattacks on targets in the West have highlighted the vulnerability of companies and institutions, making the issue a higher public priority but with no easy solution.

The latest incident to underline the capacity of cybercriminals to disrupt daily life came early this month when Colonial Pipeline, a US-based operator of a key fuel pipeline, became a victim of ransomware.

The attack saw its computer systems encrypted, putting its operations offline and causing fuel shortages for US drivers.

At the end of last year, US authorities also revealed that hackers had compromised SolarWinds software which was run by large parts of the US government and companies around the country. Russia was blamed.

Cybersecurity firms and experts have been warning for years about the rising tide of online attacks – some state-orchestrated, some criminally motivated.

Many organisations are complacent, said Suzanne Spaulding of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank. “There are two kinds of companies in the world, those who have been hacked and those who haven’t detected it yet,” she told AFP.

Julien Nocetti, a researcher at the Geode institute at Paris 8 university, noted that Europe and the US “are sometimes shown as being the victims and the nice guys in this domain … but that’s not how it is. There’s a general blindness about our own operations.”

The reach and power of the US National Security Agency was laid bare in 2013 following leaks by fugitive contractor Edward Snowden.

While some experts worry that one day a state-backed cyberattack will trigger a spiral of reprisals and counter-reprisals that could trigger real-life hostilities, countries may have built up enough digital weapons to serve as a deterrent.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four