Eugene Kaspersky criticises espionage and cyber warfare, saying that countries should be working together to fight cybercrime, but reckons it’s hacktivists involved this time
Russian security expert Eugene Kaspersky has cast doubts on reports that the Russian and Ukranian governments are currently engaged in cyberwarfare, saying at the CeBIT event in Hannover that espionage damages international relations between countries who should be working together.
Speaking at CeBIT in Hannover, the Kaspersky CEO outlined the main types of threat that can impact businesses and outlined ways that enterprises can minimise their risk, including the implementation of IT standards that should be introduced at a legislative level.
“Espionage damages trust between nations,” he said. “It’s too much,” adding that it will slow down cyberspace development as nations will invest in local networks.
Espionage and sabotage
Germany is already looking at a ‘German Internet’ following revelations of US mass surveillance programmes that could even have resulted in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own smartphone monitored, while Kaspersky said there were similar moves in Russia and Brazil.
He suggested that while local IT companies might be very happy with the development, he wasn’t, declaring that he wants to live in a united world, not a fragmented one: “We live in the 21st century, I don’t want to go back to the 19th century.”
Kaspersky also discussed the growing threat of sabotage attacks, such as Stuxnet, which was aimed at Iranian nuclear plants, but which Kaspersky claims also infected sites in Russia.
“We’re lucky we haven’t had too many, but there’s more coming,” he warned, although he quipped that one attack in Russia which disabled speed cameras wasn’t such a bad idea.
Ukraine and Russia cyberwar
Kaspersky is not a fan of cyberwarfare either, calling cyber weapons “the worst innovation of the 21st century,” and he is not convinced that recent reports of cyber-attacks from Russia and Ukraine are state-sponsored.
Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has told TechWeekEurope that it was fending off attacks, and experts have suggested that the country’s infrastructure would not be able to withstand a coordinated Russian attack.
However Kaspersky thinks the attacks have been carried out by vigilantes, noting that many have been aimed at media outlets, and blamed the incidents on “too many patriotic Russians and too many patriotic Ukrainians.”
“I don’t think it’s the governments that are behind this,” he said. “It looks like hactivist attacks.”
Kaspersky’s got standards
Kaspersky said there were ways that these threats could be minimised.
“IT has been developed so quickly, there are no standards, “he said, saying that just like other areas of infrastructure, such as power grids, IT systems should be subject to standards, with engineers penalised if they aren’t adhered to.
He also called for enterprises and employers to be better educated about threats, and said that up to date legislation is a “must”. He said governments should work together to share expertise and intelligence because cyberspace doesn’t have borders.
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