The succession of cyber-attacks, the expansion of their scope and their sensitive targets in the United States, has brought this issue to the fore recently, especially since there is a lack of the necessary equipment to anticipate this challenge and its risks and thwart its goals.
The flurry of infiltrations in recent days that affected vital American institutions and infrastructures, which paralyzed them, confused the American arena and revealed the extent of its inability to confront such operations.
The embarrassing thing is that it not only succeeded in decoding the secret electronic entrances and keys of the companies and interests that targeted them, but also imposed on their owners to pay a ransom to release their families and allow them to return to their normal session, even if the Federal Reserve Bank managed to recover part of this ransom, by pursuing The impact of her transfers to opaque international accounts.
More than $2 million has been recovered from Colonial Pipeline, which supplies more than 5,000 miles of oil and gas to most of the US East Coast and which pirates could disrupt pumping for days at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. It was followed by the disruption of computers that regulate work in several companies, including one of the largest meat packing industries in the world.
With this exposure, the cyber issue jumped to the fore as a serious threat, after it had emerged as a challenge with the story of Russian interference in the 2016 elections
So far, effective tools are not available to stop it, especially since the accused parties possess great capabilities and expertise in this field, such as “the Russians, the Chinese and others, including Iran and North Korea.” The most dangerous thing, this time, is that those who carry out these attacks are “individuals”, according to US estimates, and the authorities in those countries “must be aware of their affairs if they are not supervising and directing their work.” In a situation, observers fear that it will establish a cyber war by proxy, which, if it escalates, may lead to war or conventional wars between states.
Aspects of this development were discussed yesterday, Wednesday, in an expanded symposium organized by the “Middle East Institute for Studies in Washington”, on the effects and changes brought about by cyberspace in the Middle East.
Its sessions dealt with the topic from the point of view of its intersection with “technology, security issues and government work”, by focusing on issues of “foreign relations and international, personal and human security”, in an attempt to develop a “better understanding of cyberspace issues and examine its effects on the future”, especially as it brought with it “changes”. important regional levels in terms of social, commercial, political mobilization, war issues, and in terms of inter-neighbourhood relations, all of which converge to pass through important transitional situations.
In keeping with this transition, the countries of the region, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, must “take care of training cadres to ward off cyber risks and realize the extent of their impact on sovereignty, labor relations and trade at home,” according to what the symposium concluded.
What experts and knowledgeable people agree on is that the problem exists, “and it calls for the region to be recognized that there is no quick solution to it.” Almost the same conclusion was reached by Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in his speech on the general dangers of this threat, with which he opened the symposium.
“All that is possible now is to improve cyber defenses and reduce losses, although that is not enough,” Warner said. To achieve this, the party that is exposed to such attacks must “immediately inform the relevant government agencies,” and move quickly “to define an international pattern of response,” promising to submit a draft law dealing with ransom in these cases, which he admitted he had no idea about. Until now.
The summary of his words, as a summary of the discussions of the symposium that dealt with this topic from its global portal, not only the Middle East. The implication is that the arena is vulnerable to this danger. The world is exposed in the age of digitization and the Internet, and what threatens the general flow and its safety valves, as well as privacy, its immunities and sanctities, and the imbalance and confusion that this causes in the regularity of the course of life and its complex relationships.
A soft war by proxy is open to cruel wars in the original.