Criminals, Rogues Have Upper Hand With Cyber Threats

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As automation and cloud computing establish a strangle hold on society, along comes a report that “common criminals, organized crime rings and nation-states” are in control relative to Cyber threats.

Cyber threats reaching new level of sophistication

Cyber threats have reached a new level of sophistication and the report — authored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the CERT division of software engineering at Carnegie Mellon, CSO magazine, and the U.S. Secret Service — outlines a growing threat to core infrastructure systems, mostly involving networked computer applications.

The remote control home, operated off a cellular phone, migrates to control the remote control car, all controlled by computer networks with remote access, comes at a time when computer-based infrastructure is so rapidly changing security companies are simply giving up protecting your software, as previously reported in ValueWalk.

“One thing is very clear: The cyber security programs of U.S. organizations do not rival the persistence, tactical skills, and technological prowess of their potential cyber adversaries,” a 2014 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey quoted in Time Magazine pointed out. “Today, common criminals, organized crime rings, and nation-states leverage sophisticated techniques to launch attacks that are highly targeted and very difficult to detect.”

Cyber threats report points finger

The report specifically targets Syria, Iran and Russia, saying they were “a particularly pernicious threat.” As the US is the undisputed leader using tactics of traditional warfare, rivals may have realized they can’t compete in a head to head battle with bombs and bullets, but war on a technological battle field carries with it much less risk with a win higher percentage than might be found on a traditional battlefield.

The new cyber battlefields can be profitable, as gangs of capitalist criminals learn to tear into operations at the cornerstone of the economy such as Target Stores, the major stock and derivatives exchanges and major financial services firms.  These high value targets, all subject of past attacks, can easily conceal any state sponsorship of such “privately controlled” gangs.  This is the real stealth bomber.

The report’s advice is that companies invest in protecting their “crown jewels,” which is the same advice a child might receive upon entering a hockey rink for the first time. As for advice to government? That’s a more difficult call to make.

The findings were based on a survey of more than 500 US business executives, law enforcement and government agencies, and was built on research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

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About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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