France, like many other countries following the 2016 US Presidential election, announced growing concerns about election hacking. As a result, France launched a cybersecurity unit on December 12. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Defence minister, announced the program’s launch.
Britain, last month, designed their own cybersecurity unit, created with the same goal in mind: to stop the Russians. The CIA, according to what amounts to hundreds of reports, claimed that Russia attempted to disrupt the US election. Art there very least, sources said, the Russians hacked the DNC email server. Defensive strategists announced that Britain’s budget for the cybersecurity division surpassed 2.2 billion in government funding.
Jean-Yves Le Drian said, “the emergence of a new area, a new cyber-battlefield, must make us rethink profoundly our way of approaching the art of war.” Additionally, he added, “our offensive cyber-capabilities must allow us to breach the systems and networks of our enemies to cause damage, service suspensions or temporary or definitive neutralisations.”
The new branch of the army, the Defense Minister explained, is designed to function defensively and offensively. He said once the unit is finalised, a cyberattack against the country could constitute an act of war. And the unit would need to respond appropriately. Officials already created the appropriate response: a protocol dubbed Cybercom, according to Business Insider.
Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, released an announcement warning of the Russian hacking threat. He said, “we are increasingly finding aggressive cyber-affairs. We see a potential threat to German government members. Bundestag delegates and employees of the democratic parties through cyber operations especially.” The official continued, “the indications of attempts to influence the Bundestag election in the coming year are intensifying. We expect a further rise in cyber attacks in the run-up to the Bundestag election.”
France is far from being the most concerning digital oversight—think about Germany’s nearly instant response time to busting counterfeit Euro buyers. But Jean-Yves Le Drian indicated that the initiative would be very offensive. Instead of many passive models employed elsewhere, France is preparing for the more active route. “Our offensive cyber-capabilities must allow us to breach the systems and networks of our enemies to cause damage. Or service suspensions or temporary or definitive neutralisations,” he said with regard to the said offensive measures.
Cybersecurity and Cybercrime in Russia:
Russia’s alleged hacking and disinformation plots disturb governments before the event even takes place. Russian hackers routinely prove their hacking skills—often just for the sake of it. HackRead recently published a piece on hacked accounts speaking up for sale on the darknet. Mail.ru, a major Russian service provider, saw two separate hacks this year. And then dumps from both landed on TheRealDeal marketplace.
And again, Russian hackers performed the same stunt with Yandex.ru dumps. The dump contained 6.5m accounts and addresses for half-a-Bitcoin.
At the other end of the spectrum, Russia’s banks suffered massively from the Mirai Botnet. Arguably, to a greater degree than most other banks. “Sberbank, Alfa Bank, the Bank of Moscow, Rosbank, and the Moscow Exchange were all targeted in the attack,” said Readwrite.
The cybersecurity future remains unpredictable for upcoming elections—and Russia grabbed a front row seat.