"Internet security and informatization are important and urgent. The dual goals of security and development are like two wings of a bird and two wheels of an engine. No internet safety means no national security. No informatization means no modernization": it was February 2014, and Chinese president Xi Jinping chaired the first meeting of the "Cybersecurity and Informatization Leading Group" (CILG), a new body of the Chinese government in charge of all cyber affairs, including political, economic, cultural and military issues.
Estimates about the impact of cybercrime on national economies and worldwide vary significantly, but they all come down to the same conclusion: online predatory crimes are a significant threat to the global economy. The public sector, banks and financial institutions, providers of public utilities, media outlets, big corporations as well as small and medium enterprises and individual internet users are all targets of malicious cyber activities.
Cybercriminals are among the greatest spenders in the research and development of cutting-edge cyber offensive capabilities. They exploit the asymmetry of cyberspace, where an attack costs much less that the defense, and they take full advantage of our lack of awareness on cybersecurity issues. They are difficult to anticipate, to trace-back and to contrast – it is almost impossible to bring them to justice. But looking at cybercrime in a simple law enforcement perspective might be misleading.
The story reads like a work of fiction, a thriller that could have been carefully crafted by a bestselling author that could evolve into an award winning series. For nearly one month in 2017, the Dutch police ran Hansa – one of the largest darknet marketplaces – impersonating its administrators in an attempt to gather as much intelligence on buyers and sellers as they could, prior to taking the market offline as a means to disrupt the criminal infrastructure. Welcome to crime fighting in the twenty-first century!
Crime exists since the beginning of human society, and cybercrime exists since the beginning of the digital society. However, as noted by the European Commission in the introduction to the Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union : "Recent years have seen that while the digital world brings enormous benefits, it is also vulnerable. […] The EU economy is already affected by cybercrime activities against the private sector and individuals.
It is often said that the cell phone in your pocket today has thousands of times more computational power than the entirety of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) when they first put two astronauts on the moon in 1969.
Cybercrime – offences against and by means of computer systems – is a fundamental threat to core values of societies.
At the end of 2016, the outgoing Obama administration issued several decisions and executive orders as part of countermeasures designed to punish Russia for its interference in the US Presidential election. Following up on its experience with similar measures against Chinese and Iranian cyber experts, the US government published a list
We may not agree on how and why technology has become the driving force behind human development. Many could even deny its supremacy versus philosophy, economy, mathematics or psychology, but no one can deny that the impact of technology is well evident, particularly if we consider the exponential development of ICT in the last 50 years.
As cyber security is slowly making it onto the international security agenda, NATO's Allies aim at setting the rules of behavior in cyberspace to ensure that the malicious use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is not left unpunished.