Massive cyber-attacks hit more than 100 countries around the world, including UK, Russia, India, China, Italy, US and others and companies such as Telefonica, FedEx Corp, Renault, Nissan etc. The attacks were conducted by a spreading ransomware that seems to begun by Europe and Russia.
The ransomware is a type of malware that demands an amount of payment so as the encrypted data are unlocked. This time, the payment was 300$. (12/05/2017)
The attacks are linked to another incident that took place on 14th April. A group called Shadow Brokers, published a collection of spy “weapons” used by the NSA, weapons that target Windows including Windows 7 and 8. The same group had published another pack of cyber-tools, used by NSA, last year but it did not get much attention. (12/05/2017)
Comment: That case arose some doubts, whether national agencies should stock up vulnerabilities and cyber tools, considering the risk of leaking, like it happened on 14th April.
One of the countries that were hit harsher was UK, especially the NHS. Since the attack and for the next week it is waited that hospitals will deal with chaos, as surgeries, appointments were canceled or diverted. The government is under pressure because of the vulnerability of the NHS. Microsoft had provided software and free updates to protect Window users, yet the NHS operates mainly by using Windows XP, a 16-year-old system. As said by experts, systems before 2007 are vulnerable.
A 22-year-old, working for Kryptos Logic and identifying himself as MalwareTech, was the one who saved the day, when he found out about the cyber-attacks on NHS and other organizations. He proceeded then to search it and found out a specific domain that was not registered. The switch off was there in case the creator wanted to stop the spreading of the malware. He claimed though, that at that time he did not know what that switch off could do, so it really was an accident. He also warned that this is not over and a second round of cyber-attacks may happen. (13/05/2017)
Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, warned governments against storing computer vulnerabilities and software codes that can be used by hackers, because of the risk of leaking to the public. According to experts, the vulnerability that hackers used was found in some NSA documents leaked online on 14th April. The spreading of the virus was so fast due to a digital code called ‘eternal blue’ that it is believed it was created by the NSA. (15/05/2017)
Putin claimed that Russia had nothing to do with the cyber-attacks and blamed US government for creating the digital codes that made feasible the hacking and the quick spreading. Putin, called the global leaders to discuss cyber-security and talk in a ‘serious political level’. (15/05/2017)
Comment: Once again, the need for a legislative framework on cyber-security is stronger than ever. A Digital Geneva Convention, as was set out by Brad Smith, may be the right idea and a way to bring global leaders together, considering putting rules and boarders in cyber-space.
North Korea’s missile failure may be due to US cyber sabotage.
There are some speculations that the ballistic missile failure in North Korea (15/4/2017) maybe because of American cyber sabotage. According to New York Times, US is on the try to obstruct N. Korea’s nuclear missile program, for almost three years. Considering that and the high rates of missile failures that took place in N.Korea, it may be as a result of US interfering with country’s missile program, as reported by Business Insider. (17/04/2017)
Bulgarian Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said the cabinet aims to increase the defense industry’s role in supplying modernized gear to the country’s military and generating additional budget revenues. (12/05/17)
Turkey and Pakistan have signed a momerandum of understanding on a mutual arms deal. Turkey will buy 52 Super Mushshak Pakistani training aircraft and Pakistan will buy four Turkish Ada-Class corvette warships (MILGEM). (11/05/17)
Turkey to ink major naval export deal with Saudi Arabia.
Although the content of the deal is top secret, Turkey expects to sell at least two Istanbul-Class frigates. Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said recently that a big export deal with Saudi Arabia would soon be finalized. (10/05/17)
War Geoeoconomics Team was established in October 2016 in the Defence Affairs Sector at the Institute of International Relations. It’s purpose is to present an interdisciplinary approach of Defense Economics in the fields of International Relations and Geopolitics
Institute of International Relations
War Geoeconomics Team
Edited by : Apostolos Katakouzinos (Defense Industry)
Regina Zani (Cyber Warfare)