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Risk

1/23/2015
07:45 AM
Mike Walls
Mike Walls
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Why Russia Hacks

Conventional wisdom holds that Russia hacks primarily for financial gain. But equally credible is the belief that the Russians engage in cyberwarfare to further their geopolitical ambitions.

By Coat_of_Arms_of_the_Russian_Federation.[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Coat_of_Arms_of_the_Russian_Federation.[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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mwallsedgewave
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mwallsedgewave,
User Rank: Author
1/23/2015 | 12:07:27 PM
Re: Financial gain?
Thanks for the comments Dr.T.!

You are absolutely correct, there is a segment of the hacker population that hacks for fun, and also to feed their egos.  But would you agree that nation states hack for more strategic reasons?

Thanks again!
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
1/23/2015 | 12:05:34 PM
Re: Why ANY Nation Hacks
I hear you and partial agree, but if we continue to hack we can not complain when others can do the same thing. 
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/23/2015 | 12:04:38 PM
Re: Why ANY Nation Hacks
Mike Walls, I just read your bio. What a coincidence - I am also a Navy veteran, Vietnam era. I am aware of the US Cyber Command effort. I teach IT Security and tell my students that there may be opportunities there for them.

 
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
1/23/2015 | 12:01:19 PM
Financial gain?
 

Unless there is a buyer for list of emails in the market, that may give a financial gain for sure but they do not have to do any hacking for emails, they can just google it. Nobody care about a list username/ password, they will not pay money for that information, it is risky for a legitimate company to utilize that. The other way to use hacking for financial gain is blackmailing, there is more money in that than other options in my view. Most hacking happens simply because they can do it and they want to do it, it is fun.
mwallsedgewave
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mwallsedgewave,
User Rank: Author
1/23/2015 | 11:57:10 AM
Re: Why ANY Nation Hacks
Thanks for the comments!

Your points are well taken.  To your point about "your country having the best hackers...", the US is building upon what is already a superior cyber capability.  Before he left his position as Director NSA/Commander US Cyber Command, GEN Aleaxander laid the foundation for a national cyber mission force of ~5000 cyber operators.  ADM Rogers, his replacement, is driving that effort forward.  So by 2016, the US will have an extremely capable force of exceptionally well trained cyber operators.  

Thanks again for the thoughtful comments.
rjones2818
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rjones2818,
User Rank: Strategist
1/23/2015 | 10:11:52 AM
Too many ifs and maybes
It reads like a propaganda piece.  Yes, it's a commentary, but opinion is just that.
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/23/2015 | 9:09:10 AM
Why ANY Nation Hacks
Let's get down to the brass tacks here. Everybody who thinks that nations do not hack to further their geopolitical ambitions raise their hand. If this were an in-person discussion, I doubt that I will see many hands raised, if any at all. As I think of all the nations and militant organizations out there actively trying to advance their cause, I also think of all the nations actively working to thwart those efforts. To me, it is a matter of national security! I am not saying whether it is a good thing or bad thing; I'm just saying that it is a matter of national survival. Now, ask those nations if they engage in that sort of activity, and I predict that only a handful will admit to it.

We live in an electronically connected world with no physical boundaries, and that is a bit scary. Imagine what it would have been like 5000 or so years ago if people were as scientifically advanced as we are now, but with no national borders. Sort of like a huge global rumble among anarchists. Well, that's what our internet connected world looks like now. Sure, we have laws that attempt to regulate what is legal and what isn't but just how effective can laws really be when illegal activity originates in areas outside of our national borders?

Label me as a paranoid whatever, but personally, I would want my country to have the best hackers around in its employ. I would want them to proactively seek out and thwart all those attacks against my country, and I would also want them to find out as much as possible about all other countries because they too have geopolitical ambitions. Those ambitions may lead to activities not necessarily in the interests of my country, so I definitely want to know what they are. I feel this way because the world is not some global utopian society, and until it is, I will continue feeling this way. Everybody who feels the same way, raise their hand. I'm sure there will be a lot more hands in the air this time around.
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