Wired: “absolute catastrophe” in 3-4 years. Scaremongering?

It’s very difficult to predict the future, but remember the freezing winter in Texas (2021) when reading the following and make up your own mind regarding the future risks to us Westerners in times of extreme weather.

Wired:

Hackers Tied to Russia’s GRU Targeted the US Grid for Years, Researchers Warn

” … Dragos says Kamacite has repeatedly targeted US electric utilities, oil and gas, and other industrial firms since as early as 2017.” (…)

“… But because Kamacite’s history includes working as part of Sandworm’s operations that triggered blackouts in Ukraine not once, but twice—turning off the power to a quarter million Ukrainians in late 2015 and then to a fraction of the capital of Kyiv in late 2016—its targeting of the US grid should raise alarms. “If you see Kamacite in an industrial network or targeting industrial entities, you clearly can’t be confident they’re just gathering information. You have to assume something else follows,” Caltagirone says. “Kamacite is dangerous to industrial control facilities because when they attack them, they have a connection to entities who know how to do destructive operations.”” (…)

“When WIRED reached out to other threat-intelligence firms including FireEye and CrowdStrike, none could confirm seeing a Sandworm-related intrusion campaign targeting US utilities as reported by Dragos.” (…)

” … the rise in even relatively unskilled groups poses a real threat, Caltagirone says. The number of groups targeting industrial control systems has been continually growing, he adds, ever since Stuxnet showed at the beginning of the last decade that industrial hacking with physical effects is possible. “A lot of groups are appearing, and there are not a lot going away,” says Caltagirone. “In three to four years, I feel like we’re going to reach a peak, and it will be an absolute catastrophe.””

What’s interesting in the Wired article above is that detecting hacking is so difficult that not all top tier anti-hacking firms are able to confirm whether it has happened or not. This kind of complexity gives one reason to distrust the safety of 4IR tech (fourth industrial revolution technologies). I suggest we go back to a non-digital power grid. After all, it was old Soviet equipment that saved the Ukrainian grid from even worse hacking destruction.

To be fair to Russia keep in mind that NSA is most likely inside the Russian power grid too, as a cyberwar version of the MAD doctrine. Bruce Schneier, at Harvard, writes in The Guardian:

The US has suffered a massive cyberbreach. It’s hard to overstate how bad it is

“Recent news articles have all been talking about the massive Russian cyber-attack against the United States, but that’s wrong on two accounts. It wasn’t a cyber-attack in international relations terms, it was espionage. And the victim wasn’t just the US, it was the entire world. But it was massive, and it is dangerous.”

“Espionage is internationally allowed in peacetime. The problem is that both espionage and cyber-attacks require the same computer and network intrusions, and the difference is only a few keystrokes. And since this Russian operation isn’t at all targeted, the entire world is at risk – and not just from Russia. Many countries carry out these sorts of operations, none more extensively than the US.” (…)

“And now that the Orion vulnerability is public, other governments and cybercriminals will use it to penetrate vulnerable networks. I can guarantee you that the NSA is using the SVR’s hack to infiltrate other networks; why would they not? (Do any Russian organizations use Orion? Probably.)”

My view: children should not play with potentially apocalyptic 4IR tech. But in a world of carnivores, it’s tragic and pathetic that dark triad people in one empire have actually good reason to fear dark triad people in other empires, cf the security dilemma.

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