DailyPost 665


The theater of war has shifted to the Cyberspace. There might not be any conventional wars in future. If this is a reality then it’s logical corollary is that cyber offensive nation states are already in operation. Though making public pronouncements to the contrary, yet large number of states run well organized cyber armies under their fold. The quality of Cyber Army would define the nature & quality of security.

Are state actors are behind the Singapore’s biggest ever Singapore attack? Stuxnet malicious computer worm, first uncovered in 2010, can be seen as the birth of the Cyber Offensive Nation State. It is thought to have been developed since 2005, Stuxnet targets SCADA systems & has been responsible for causing substantial damage to Iran’s nuclear program. US & Israel created this tool marking a clear shift in strategic thinking. A game changer attack, it can be treated as the 9/11 of Cyber Security. Stuxnet has been the world’s First Digital Weapon.

Most belligerent countries got into the act. Cyber Offensive capabilities have been created surreptitiously. PLA Unit 61398 of a People’s Liberation Army advanced persistent threat unit has been alleged be the source of Chinese computer hacking attacks. The link between Taliban & lots of other such hacks and breaches and Russia are too well known. Lazarus, operating under large numbers of camouflage, wrecking financial institutions worldwide is a North Korean creation. Beyond the North Korean Nukes threat to US is the possibility of wide & varied cyber attacks on the country.

SingHealth was an advanced persistent attack. Given the complexity and focus on high profile targerts, state actors seem to the culprit. Sensitive health information could have been used to blackmail the individual into conducting espionage. This nature of attacks are conducted by nation states with advanced tools. “They tend to be well-funded resourced, well-funded and highly sophisticated.”


Sanjay Sahay

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