Friday 26 May 2017 News Updated at 03:05 AM IST
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Cybersecurity infra needs review - Deccan Herald
Cybersecurity infra needs review
DH News Service,
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The massive wave of cyberattacks that hit 2,00,000 computers in 150 countries was one of the biggest and most pervasive breaches of cybersecurity in the globalised world. The cybercriminals raided communication systems in the US, Russia, Britain, Spain, India, Taiwan, Ukraine and more. Its victims included the British National Health Service (NHS) hospitals, the Russian Interior Ministry, the US delivery firm FedEx, the Spanish telecom giant Telefónica, the French automaker Renault and universities and healthcare institutions in almost all countries of Asia. Though the attacks have abated, the institutions that were hit are still struggling to recover and "aftershock" infections continue to pop up. They have sparked fears that the effects of the continuing threat will be felt for months, if not years.

As governments, companies and security experts across the world are scrambling to contain the fall out, the malware that caused extensive worldwide disruption has been identified. Built of a worm called 'WannaCry,' it infected computers using a phishing scam and locked the systems down. The malware is believed to have been stolen from the National Security Agency of the USA and transmitted via email. This underlines a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today - nation state action and organised criminal action. The governments need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world. They must consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and their use by criminal syndicates.

Last Friday's WannaCry attacks are a wake-up call. Cyberexperts have warned that another large-scale, stealthy cyberattack could be underway on a scale that could dwarf last week's assault. The most important thing just now is to disrupt the attack and try to undo as much damage as possible. The next step should be to review the existing global cybersecurity infrastructure and beef it up to ward off similar attacks in future. Cybercrime is a big business, estimated to cost over $3 trillion annually across the globe. And threats from increasingly sophisticated criminals are becoming more severe. Cybercrimes are different from other crimes in many ways. The Internet knows no national boundaries and as the communication technologies develop, so do their vulnerabilities. Fighting cybercriminals, therefore, calls for a sturdier, more nuanced and better coordinated international response. The world must learn lessons from the WannaCry attack and take immediate counteraction. Any delay will not only put the future or global economic state on stake but could also endanger world peace.