Theresa May has warned that Russia could be launching a cyber-attack against the UK imminently but the question arises, how legitimate is this threat?
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May has pledged £15m to strengthen their cyber-security defenses yesterday as she held an “intelligence partners” summit with leaders from Canada, Australia and New Zealand – who helped form the “Five Eyes” security alliance with UK and USA.
Speaking at the National Cyber Security Center in London, Theresa May claimed that, “Russia is using cyber… as part of a wider effort to attack and undermine the international system.” She further added saying, “Its interference over the past year has included attacks on the public sector, media, telecommunications, and energy sectors.”
The President and CEO, Bill Conner, of Sonicwall– a network security company said that Russia has the ability and the motive to launch a cyber-attack wherever it wants and so do other nations.
He said that, “Cyber-attacks like WannaCry and Not-Petya demonstrate governments can and will, use nefarious means to target critical national infrastructure of nation states. There is no doubt that Russia has the ability and the motive to deploy this kind of attack on the West. Many other nation states have this ability too.”
He further added saying, “That said, it is not just national infrastructure at risk. For many state-sponsored hackers, business and governmental department disruption is top of the agenda, much like the NHS attack.”
WannaCry was a grand cyber-attack and it affected more than 200,000 computers in more than 100 countries. It attacked a total of 80 NHS trusts and caused around 20,000 hospital appointments to get cancelled.
Despite the fact that this incident took place last year, Mr. Conner claims that the UK needs to get a grip on what he calls the “nature of malware cocktails – the process of mixing threats to concoct brand new, destructive attacks”.
He added saying, “The risks to businesses and even everyday citizen’s data grow each day.
Governments and businesses need to deploy a layered security approach utilizing next generation firewalls, deep packet inspection for encrypted communication, cloud-based multi-engine cloud sandboxing, advanced real-time deep memory inspection, and next generation end-point security with rollback capability.”
The threat of cyber-attack from Russia has been heightened following the Allied Syrian attack in Damascus which was in retaliation to an alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 4.
Soon after this, Michael Clarke, an expert in counter-terrorism warned the public to be ready for a cyber-warfare. Claiming, “I suspect Russia will choose not to respond in military terms. But cyber warfare is highly likely.”
He further added, “It will be an attack on national infrastructure, not just upsetting city firms, but getting inside the transport system, or the health system, or air traffic control. It could affect everyone.