A new report by security firm FireEye suggests that the Kremlin has been sponsoring groups of hackers to attack targets in the West. In recent weeks, suspected Russian hackers have breached White House computer networks, as well as spying on computers used by the EU, NATO, the Ukrainian government and Western energy companies.
The recent attacks follow the introduction of EU and US sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis and annexation of Crimea. However, they also follow on from the 2008 cyber-attack on Georgia during the war with Russia, which was co-ordinated with Russian military actions on the ground. And, in 2010, a massive cyber-attack against Estonia paralyzed the country’s digital infrastructure, disrupting government websites, banking services and media.
Are European governments taking cybersecurity seriously as a threat? We had a comment sent in from Davor, arguing that, because the internet is now so critical to our economies, it was time for governments to set up dedicated agencies to deal with threats in cyberspace.
Earlier this year, we interviewed Michael Daniel, Special Assistant and Cybersecurity Coordinator to U.S. President Barack Obama. What did he think of the idea of dedicated cybersecurity agencies being set up by governments?
We also spoke to Sigrid Johannisse, who was at the time an adviser to the cabinet of Neelie Kroes, then-European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. How would she respond?
Want to know more about this issue? From 14 to 16 October 2014, our partner think-tank, the Security & Defence Agenda, held an online Security Jam focusing the brain power of almost 2,300 participants from 114 countries contributing to 2,800 posts on key security issues. The top 10 recommendations – to be published shortly – will form a roadmap for the EU’s and NATO’s new leadership, including recommendations on beefing up Europe’s cyber-defences.
If you need a bit more background on some of the issues related to cybersecurity and cyberwarfare, we’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (and you can click on the image for a larger version).
Are European countries prepared to fight a cyberwar with Russian hackers? What steps do EU governments need to take to better protect their digital infrastructure? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions!