[fusion_builder_container type=”flex” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”true” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_sizes_top=”” border_sizes_bottom=”” border_sizes_left=”” border_sizes_right=”” first=”true”][fusion_text]
Two end-of-voyage planted historic milestones last week. First and foremost was the successful attack on Colonial Pipeline by DarkSide a criminal site formed and operated by Russian cyber pirates. The attack left part of the US without a steady flow of gasoline while unveiling to the public the fragility of the US economic infrastructure to cyber warfare. Then there was the big leap forward by China in its deeper space exploration capabilities by landing the rover Zhurong on Martian surface. Zhurong attests to the enhanced competitive drive of China vis-a-vis the United States while codifying its status as a world power.
The ransomware attack of Colonial Pipeline is the first attack by criminal cyber gangs on the US critical infrastructure. As such it has elicited enhanced attention by the media while promoting a messaging gush through social media and reigniting conspiracy theories. And while DarkSide’s only concern was to extract ransom payments from Colonial, the attack brough to the forefront the strength of criminal cyber gangs and their ability to cause damage to the civilian population of any given country, especially those that are liberal democracies. These are particularly exposed to these disruptions because they have enshrined laws and regulations to protect privacy. Accordingly, it is procedurally complex for any law enforcement agency in those countries to bring down sites belonging to cyber gangs operators . The matter becomes even more intricate when geopolitics is brought to bear. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has settled in many cyber dimensions with a view to enhance that nation’s power. Given that the Russian economy can hardly support the relaunch of the collapsed Russian empire , taking possession of cyber land is and excellent second best. And Mr Putin has certainly excelled at using this power resource.
These t arrivals into what had up to now been US led territories: outer space and cyber space are bound to have profound repercussion into world affairs. China’s feat will most certainly trigger a competitive drive in the US among private business that has already jumped into the outer space exploration efforts. In the end the impact upon the United States could be similar to that experienced in the 1960s when the Soviet Union send Laika the dog to space followed by Yuri Gagarin.
Darkside’s attempt to extract ransom money from Colonial has activated two dormant forces. On the one hand law enforcement agencies have jumped into cyber space to bring down most sites owned by Darkside operators. The sunshine flurry has exposed criminal sites that had so far thrived in obscurity. The raid has produced a temporary retreat of many of these sites in the expectation that soon attention will go other targets. This will be the time to bounce back from obscurity and retake criminal activities with more powerful tools. Needless to say that should law enforcement agencies give them respite they will become emboldened. Because they have tested rough waters and think they can master them.
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”.