US Military Site Compromised Again – Days After Google Called for Rewarding Hackers
On June 2 this year, Google came up with a statement that, to me, appeared outrageous or, at best, politically incorrect. “Hackers who manage to infiltrate a company’s network and then tell them about it should be thanked and paid,” Google had said.
If businesses themselves invite hackers to smash their networks it is their choice. But expecting them to be disciplined and confine their activities to ethical hacking is not a secure way to fulfil a requirement. What about the threat of losing public data confidentiality?
Cybervandalism: Notwithstanding the hundreds of billions of dollars that data breaches cost companies annually (some peg the loss at $1 trillion a year already and expect it to hit $2.1 trillion in 2019), Google wants those taking a crack at cybervandalism to be rewarded.
Google may have had only the white hat hackers in mind – a bunch of professionals who do not nurture any malicious intent.
Considered among the finest coders, they command a premium among IT firms. Google, Apple and the like have a big band of hackers in their payrolls. That is a sane approach as they will work within acceptable norms and stay clear of network mayhem.
If they have malice to none, why call them hackers, which is hardly an honourable title? Why not call them security experts instead?
What hat they wear will be beyond us!: The Google exhortation, nonetheless, is aimed at freelance hackers. So how can one be sure what hat the hackers wear when they are independent coders?
They can choose to wear whatever hat that suits them best monetarily – can be black, grey, blue or whatever. In short, anything but white!
They can even end up being a hactivist! Hacking with a message!
This is what appears to have happened when a militant group going by the name, The Syrian Electronic Army, hacked the U.S. military site this Monday — less than a week after Google’s call for firms to be soft on hackers.
No Data Compromise: The US military put on a brave front claiming no data has been stolen but took the site offline to assess the damage.
The Syrian Electronic Army, owing allegiance to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, had in the past claimed responsibility for breaking into the sites of several newspapers and agencies, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the BBC and CBS News.
Earlier this year also, the social media accounts of the US military had been hacked as well by ISIS. followers.
Prolific Espionage Group: Cyber attacks have been assuming lethal proportions with even a secret branch of China’s military specialising in it. This branch is considered one of the most prolific Internet espionage groups worldwide.
Moreover, Chinese hackers have in the past attempted to steal personal data from US government networks. Then there are hackers acting out of North Korea.
With terrorism being the biggest threat the world faces, having to deal with a soft brood hooked on creating havoc is not a welcome augury!
G Joslin Vethakumar