”A Fire Sale is an all-out cyberwarfare attack that performs a three-stage systematic attack on a nation’s computer infrastructure.” Just because something has never happened does not mean that it would never happen. Commercial aircrafts being used as missiles hitting Twin Towers in a suicide attack is as weird as it can get. This was nearly twenty years back. The manner the digital technology has paced up in its negative avatar, can beat even the best of the sci-fi movies hollow. Whatever might be the enterprise we are in, we can afford to be oblivious of this fact, only at our own peril. ”10 power assets, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu ports came under RedEcho cyberattack,” should be taken as a timely warning for things which can go awry. The recent SolarWinds attack in the US on government, its high profile agencies and several other private companies is a clear indication of the same trend.
A bit of a history would not be out of place. All the critical infrastructure cyber attack game started with the Stuxnet attack 2010 on the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz in a very concerted manner. This can certainly be termed as the 9/11 of Cyber Security. ”Stuxnet targeted at the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems” and is believed to be responsible for causing substantial damage to the nuclear program of Iran. The world experienced a military grade cyber weapon for the first time, a 50,000 line complex code, delivered through a pen drive, in a buffered – air gapped system with a payload of 20 zero-day exploits* was the tech bundling.
Estonia has faced hell on its critical infrastructure way back in 2007 and to its credit transformed that nation both as pioneers of technology and also of cyber security, boasting of having one of the best cyber security centers in the world. Accepting the *clear cyber security fault lines which attacks have shown to different nations and the world at large is the issue. We need a *Cyber Ostrich not to see the devastation all round, sector after sector, year after year, geography after geography. Hope we are not waiting for all of it to happen at the same time, at the same location, in the same country.
Hackers called it Fire Sale because ”Everything must go.” That operation was used by terrorist mastermind Thomas Gabriel and his group of cyber-terrorists. ”Live Free or Die Hard” is the message the name of the movie itself carries. Ramsomare attacks had put Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust operations out of gear few years back. The well orchestrated hack of Cosmos co-operative bank in Pune in the recent past indicates a similar trend. The critical infrastructure is at risk, through what we term as the critical information infrastructure. The creation of NCIIPC in 2014 is a clear indication of the cognizance of the same fact. We live in a Cyber – Physical world is the reality, and we have elevate our expertise to the challenges posed. There is no choice.
FIRE SALE IS A CYBER SECURITY PANDEMIC; UNSEEN, ALL PERVASIVE AND FATAL.