Worldwide Cyberattacks to Escalate in 2013; James Lewis Comments

James Lewis

James Lewis

Researchers from McAfee Labs and an Intel subsidiary have published a report saying cyberwarfare incidents will escalate in 2013, according to a CNN Money article

2012 saw the growth of cyber incidents including massive cyberattacks that were ordered against Iran last year and in retaliation, the Iran attacks on U.S. banks and Saudi oil companies.

James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, confirmed that 12 military superpowers are currently developing their cyberwarfare programs.

Michael Sutton, head of security research at cloud security company Zscaler, predicts that there will be focused attention in beefing up national cyber arsenals and some states may even outsource cybersecurity protection.

Chiranjeev Bordoloi, CEO of security company Top Patch, said nation-state attacks will concentrate on critical infrastructure such as power grids. Bordoloi and Security firm IID confer that these violent attacks may cause deaths in 2013.

Others offer dissenting views such as Wade Baker, head of Verizon‘s security division. He said that Verizon researchers believe an all-out cyber war is very unlikely, but possible.

Some experts claim that Russia and China are not interested in infrastructure attacks while Iran does not have the capability to launch a massive attack.

Still, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sent a warning to cyber aggressors that the U.S. reserves the right to use military power against those that will a cyberattack against the U.S.

McAffee worries that companies are vulnerable against the more malicious attacks set to take place this year.

On a positive note, McAffee reported that Anonymous attacks have grown weaker and fewer in number in the past months. This is due to strengthened defense against denial of service attacks.

The report claims that companies have begun to stunt the technical ascendancy of the hacktivist group and hopes that this will lead to fewer attacks in 2013.

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