DIGITAL ESPIONAGE

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DIGITAL ESPIONAGE

The golden age of espionage started with the onset of the digital age, where data was stored for posterity, the data / information did not remain with you, different stakeholders could play around with data, backdoors et al, and the enemy could remain in your system for an indefinite period of time. Added to that everybody carried a machine with all information about himself. This reality is being tapped to the fullest, which lots of agencies doing it, depending on the their capabilities. The present digital porous world would even put erstwhile East German Stasi to shame.

Vulnerability is at the core of our existence today. The new wireless technology known as 5G is likely to create a multiple of potential openings for bad actors inclusive of state agencies of different types to manipulate. This vulnerability is at the centre of rising tension between US and Huewei Technologies Co., China’s largest technology company. This company has a reputation which cannot be termed credit worthy. Huawei has a global leadership in 5G, the Americans fear that it could help Beijing spy on Western governments and companies.

“Huawei’s significant presence in 5G creates a new vector for possible cyber-espionage and malware,” is the sentiment expressed by a senior official. US has been a old master in this game inclusive of manipulating encrypted protocols. NIST has been setting standards for the world but in the changed world, China will play only by it’s own rules. The technology holds great promise. The speed would be ten to hundred times faster and “forest of gadgets will communicate instantly with million of antennas.”

Nobody knows how the cyber security would change with the onset of this revolutionary technology. Governments have misused companies / technologies in the past. US is not ready to take a chance. Nobody is. US national security officials see immense opportunity for spies, hackers and cyber thieves. The UG Congress has already banned government agencies from buying the company’s gear. New 5G world is in the process of being defined.

CYBER SECURITY HAS TO FACTORED IN FOR TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION.

Sanjay Sahay

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