Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy – What Countries Are Using Cyber-Espionage Tactics?

The press has been relentless lately in its coverage of Russian cyber-espionage and disinformation campaigns on Facebook and other social networks prior to the last US Presidential campaign.  But is Russia the first to engage in election rigging on this sort?  Hardly.  We thought that looking at the state of cyber-espionage as a tactic in international relations might be interesting, and we were right.  It turns out that cyber-espionage is not just for the super-power nations any more.  Even small nations are developing cyber-espionage and cyber war capabilities.  The reason is familiar to the Internet – it is just so much more inexpensive that physical espionage.

The United States has been accused of spying against China and Russia, of course.  But also against NATO allies such as Germany, Italy, and France.  And smaller countries such as Brazil.

Russia has been implicated in espionage against the United States, but also for Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine, as well as France during its last presidential campaign.

Saudi Arabia has revealed that it has been the target of cyber-espionage by an unnamed group, who also were spying on the middle eastern countries of Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Israel, and farther flung targets such as Georgia, India, Pakistan and the United States.

Syria, Iran, India and North Korea are known to have significant cyber-espionage operations, too.

So the take-away from this story is to take news of nations using cyber-espionage and cyber-war tactics against the US with a grain of salt, and the realization that the US, through the CIA, NSA and Homeland Security, have been engaged in the same tactics against those same countries.  If you are interested in this topic, I have provided some interesting links to other articles on the subject.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Serving small business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area since 2001. Cybersecurity and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. I hold several cybersecurity certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Advanced Security Pratitioner (CASP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Other computer industry certifications include A+, Network+ and Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of security on their computers, networks, and websites. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. I am a frequent speakers at cybersecurity conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference, the (ISC)2 World Congress, and the ISSA International Conference, and many local community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2008.

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