RSA Europe: Former White House security advisor accuses countries of sponsoring cyber crime

Some Eastern European countries have been called 'cyber sanctuaries' that refuse to cooperate with Western Europe and the United States and sponsor state hacking.

Speaking at the RSA Europe Conference in London, Richard Clarke, chairman of Good Harbor Consulting and a former cyber terrorism and cyber security advisor to four US presidents, claimed that some countries act as 'cyber sanctuaries' and there is a lack of international cooperation and 'kick backs' are given to hackers.

He claimed that cyber crime is not a temporary thing and is going on every day, while investigations often trace back to the same nations. He said: “The investigations often end up in Russia, Moldova and Belarus and when we ask for cooperation we do not get it. These countries have become 'cyber sanctuaries', where governments allow hackers to do an attack as long as it is outside of their country and they give a kick back to the authorities.”

He also pointed to attacks on Estonia and Georgia, claiming that in such instances, a government can say that it was not them who conducted the attack and was activists.

“You can insist that all traffic from a 'renegade' country is filtered but it continues to cost its citizens millions and they do little. In terms of the cyber crime programs, just as long as they are not doing it from the UK, US or within the European Union it brings in a great deal of money. Cyber criminals are now earning so much that they are hiring computer scientists to do hacking, this is a sophistication only seen from governments,” he said.

“This will continue to increase until something is done about the flow of money. This is a price we are paying, we are paying to internal crime organisations in cyber security.”

Speaking earlier, Adrienne Hall, general manager of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group, called on governments to take action to maintain the health of the internet. She said: “Governments should participate in dialogue and help drive new applications. It needs to help keep privacy in mind and keep it front and centre with new contexts.”

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