[Video] Unprecedented age: Ideology, adversaries and survivability

News by Tony Morbin

Just as we are getting used to attackers whose motivation is primarily financial, along come a new breed of attackers who aren't interested in money, says Khaled Fattal, chairman of the MLi Group.

We are in an age of the unprecedented, says MLi Group chairman Khaled Fattal in discussion with SC Media UK.

He says his organisation has witnessed huge growth in non-financially motivated cyber-attackers, and the need to look beyond old solutions for new problems.

It's a war which we can't win – in that there will always be such attackers – but we can survive. We can leverage any government support that might be available, but we can't really rely on it, and have to take responsibility to secure our own survivability.

While WannaCry is described in the accompanying video as being clearly by financial attackers, subsequent reports from both the NSA and from GCHQ has swung behind the view that this was a nation-state attack by the North Koreans, but the truth is that we don't know, it could be either unless we secure some definitive evidence to substantiate our attribution.

But our threat intelligence can suggest likely motivations, and what is clear is that new perpetrators with religious, political, ideological and destructive motivations are increasing their activities. In fact, they've already breached many organisations and they're not asking for any ransom.

And that's one of the attractions of ideological cyber-attacks. It allows both plausible deniability by states, but allows propaganda coups for small groups or even individuals who can't easily be traced, thanks to the asymmetric nature of cyber-attacks.

Fattal says both the government and NHS have failed to learn from their mistakes – earlier incursions – and we haven't really seen any drive by government to implement new protocols that might lessen these attacks. Hence the call for self-reliance.

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