Cyber-warfare is now a real global threat, experts warn

Lior Div, chief executive of US-Israeli cyber security firm Cybereason, speaks during Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv yesterday. [Reuters]
The current conflict between Iran and United States is likely to culminate into an international cyber warfare.

According to Former US Director of the National Security Agency Mike Rogers, cyber space will become part of conflict between nations in a manner never witnessed before.

While speaking at the annual cyberweek conference in Tel Aviv University Israel, Mr Rogers said it is now quite alarming that the US is having to deploy cyber security measures to protect itself against persistent attacks while Iran is using cyber tactics to hit private business entities.

He cautioned business leaders to collaborate with government agencies to neutralise cyber attacks, because state sponsored criminals see international enterprises as extensions of the state and target them.

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“We must use more integrated approaches between government and private sector,” Rogers said.

“The entities should interact often not only during crisis moments. If I get to know you only when you are under attack, how will I effectively protect you and the business?”

The former head of US Cyber Command wondered why players in cyber security have refused to learn from each others’ attacks, despite knowing criminals use the same methods which succeed elsewhere.

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Yosef Cohen, the director of Mossad said the constellation of cyber threats is building and nations are now more exposed to attacks because illegal militias are discovering more vulnerabilities.

“Everything is getting connected from the physical to the internet to make life convenient for everyone,” he said moments after receiving the cyber defender award for Mossad’s role in developing innovative technologies for defence of cyber threats.

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Major general (rtd) Isaac Ben Israel, the conference chairman, told the delegates that computers are being used for everything in our lives while criminals want to use the dark side of computing to cause harm.

However, he said the challenges the world is facing should not be addressed only from a technological perspective but should consider the human elements in psychology, law, values system and other softer fields.

Chris Young, the CEO of McAfee said mobile phones are the worlds largest threat vector noting that a significant amount of web traffic now comes from bots. “We are drowning in cyber security threats. In McAfee alone. we receive thousands of threats per hour,” he said.

Israel is now a model nation on how countries should develop capabilities to deal with threats.

Senior figures in the cyber security of the country told journalists that they are seeking collaborations with friendly nations and industry leaders to build impenetrable systems.

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Among them was Lior Div, Chief Executive of US-Israeli cyber security firm Cybereason.

Israel has an advanced cyber security ecosystem where many state agencies collaborate seamlessly to defend the country from cyber attacks. The cyber week for example is hosted by Tel Aviv university where more than 8000 participant from around 80 countries are attending.

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