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State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks – This is Only the Beginning: Survey

The consensus of nearly 200 senior IT security professionals attending Black Hat USA 2013 in Las Vegas is that we’re losing the battle against state-sponsored cyber attacks and things are not going to improve any time soon.

According to a survey, which was conducted at Black Hat by Lieberman Software:

The consensus of nearly 200 senior IT security professionals attending Black Hat USA 2013 in Las Vegas is that we’re losing the battle against state-sponsored cyber attacks and things are not going to improve any time soon.

According to a survey, which was conducted at Black Hat by Lieberman Software:

• 58 % of respondents believe we are losing the battle against state-sponsored attacks

• 74% of respondents are not even confident that their own corporate network has not already been breached by a foreign state-sponsored hacker

• 96% of respondents believe that the hacking landscape is going to get worse over time

• 52% of respondents are not confident that their IT staff could detect the presence of an attacker who attempts to breach their network or extract private data – even though the overwhelming majority of respondents work in organizations that have taken at least some additional security precautions.

“I would have imagined the figure to be higher than 58 percent because most organizations will lose the battle if they end up on the target list of a state-sponsored attacker,” said Amar Singh, ISACA Security Advisory Group London Chair. “The icing on the cake, from the malicious hacker’s perspective, will be when the world fully embraces IPV6, the next generation internet protocol that will allow every single human being on this planet to own at least 2000 fixed and permanent cyberspace addressees. Think about the attack surface when your TV, watch, wristband and car’s engine have a unique cyber space address and will be always connected to cyberspace!”

As state-sponsored cyber attacks increasingly become a serious problem, many nations are building defensive, as well as offensive, techniques to deter attackers, the company said. This was recently demonstrated when North Korea announced it has built an army of 3,000 cyber trolls to attack South Korean websites. In response, South Korea said it would double its cyber-security budget and train 5,000 experts amid growing concern over its vulnerability to cyber attacks stemming from North Korea. 

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“The threat of state-sponsored attacks is extremely serious for government and commercial entities,” added Philip Lieberman, President and CEO of Lieberman Software. “The probing of IT infrastructures in both environments is occurring 24/7, with attacks being launched on a regular basis. These types of attacks are very difficult to stop, almost impossible to attribute to a specific country, and a pain in the neck to anyone who gets caught in the middle of their battles. We cannot stop these attacks; we can only build taller and thicker walls to keep the hordes out.”

“The majority of organizations are prepared for amateur hackers and low-level criminals, but are completely ill-equipped to deal with today’s advanced nation-state foes,” Lieberman continued. “The most dangerous threats are highly personalized attacks designed for one-time use against specific individuals. Many state-sponsored attackers can now create perfect email attacks that insert remote control software onto corporate networks. Most corporations and government agencies would benefit from better security training, documented security processes, and enterprise-level products that can manage and secure powerful privileged accounts that grant access to critical IT assets.”

Details on the survey results can be found here.

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